Initial Appointments

I’ll keep today’s update brief, since a) my head is still swimming in details, b) I got up early today and have spent the last 3-4 hours talking to folks, and c) I don’t have any cool photos to share with you yet. (I guess we must get our hands on those at a later date.)

The counseling session went about as well as I could have hoped. I was really, REALLY nervous about agreeing to see a counselor, but I needn’t have worried – everyone has been kind, respectful, and only invested in fixing the parts of me that I submit for fixing. I’m at an awkward place right now for sharing goals, concerns, and habits because mine have changed so much already over the last three months. Trying to figure out the difference between the limitations and needs of the old me, and the limitations and goals of the new me, is a challenge. They’re both the same person, and they’ll both be factors in my success, but my current, committed state is not one that I’ve ever been in before. Many of the things that used to hold me back no longer apply, but I’m likely to revert to bad habits when I’m tired, hungry, and sore. New things will crop up too as time goes on, I’m sure.

The fitness test wasn’t what we thought it was. As it turns out, we stuck to scans, measurements, photos, and a few simple tests for things like breathing, flexibility, and strength. The endurance stuff comes later. We also got our first full explanation of the different stages of our diets. It’s daunting information, even for a diabetic accustomed to restricting her diet! We don’t get to the real nitty-gritty until we see our dietitians in two weeks, but the basic understanding is that we’ll be eating lean meats, healthy fats, and berries at first – nothing more. I don’t know yet if this will change for me any because of my diabetes, as restricting carbohydrates too much puts me at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis (in short, the same dangerous condition caused by having untreated or uncontrolled diabetes.) I’ll find that out when I talk to my doctor and/or dietitian, neither of which I’ve seen yet.

We also found out that we’ll be required to walk 5,000 steps per day in addition to the rest of the program. For days when we’re exercising, that number increases to 10,000 (which is a scary way of saying I can’t count my exercise steps as part or all of that number.) Given that my daily steps taken rarely exceeds 1,000 right now, that is going to be a big challenge. After running around the gym (and outside to the counseling center) from 10 AM to 3 PM, plus slow-walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes while I was there, my grand total for the day so far is 3,500. That means I still need to get up and go more later. Learning how to fit all this in will be a process.

That wraps up the news until Friday, when we’ll have our first doctor appointment. During that visit, we’ll go over the results of the blood work and health history we gave during preparation for the program, and discuss more details about what comes next. We’ll also find out the results of the tests we did today.

Last, but certainly not least, I had to weigh in at the start of my fitness exam. I nearly fell over and had to explain myself when the reading came out to 292 pounds! Keep in mind that I started this journey back in January, and weighed 310 pounds. In the time between mid-January and now, I’ve managed to lose almost 20 pounds all on my own. It is still a shock to see my dedication paying off, as I’ve tried to be dedicated before with no real result. Either the “pregnant diabetic” diet really works for me, or the dangerously-low vitamin D levels that my 20/20 blood work discovered were holding me back – or some combination of the two. I’m still ready to put my life in the hands of experts, but I’m proud of how much I’ve finally managed to accomplish in such a short time. For someone that has never lost weight on her own before, this is amazing!

If I can do this, I can do anything. So I keep telling myself.


  1. Carolyn

    I am just now seeing both yesterday’s and today’s entries, so… Congratulations on getting started with your 20/20 program towards healthier living! It certainly sounds like this program is very thorough, and I am truly proud of both you and John for undertaking this challenge. You can do it, I am sure!
    How exciting, and what an encouragement, that you have already lost weight without hardly trying!
    I really appreciate your filling us in about some of the specifics as to what you and John are doing. And I will welcome additional details as the days unfold. I don’t think exercising regularly and eating healthy is easy for any of us, and so, for this reason, I think your mental commitment is the main thing you have going for you, and is the primary reason that you- both of you- are going to succeed!
    Blessings and hugs,
    Mom Carolyn

    • DterminD

      Thanks! It’s always reassuring to hear that we’re not in this alone. Sometimes it’s easy to look at the rest of the non-heavy world and think that everyone else doesn’t struggle with the “basics” like we do. It may be a matter of degrees, but at the end of the day, everyone’s working hard to do the best they can, and that’s what matters most.

  2. Cara

    Whew sounds like a lot going on for you guys! Way to go on losing 20lbs before the program even started! I know you had a hard time with your diabetes during that time of adjustment, but your persistence and hard work definitely paid off, and I bet it’ll make starting the program a lot easier now that you have things figured out! Good luck with the steps goals and the first phase of the diet. Sounds challenging, but I know you two can do it! It’ll be so wonderful to lean on each other for support! Reading about your experience has inspired me to get out my fitbit and make sure I hit my 10K too, so I’ll be right there with ya! 🙂 Do you use fitbit, and if so, wanna friend up? I usually hit around 6700 on an average day so I too need to step it up and go on an extra walk every day to meet my health goals. Anyhow, I’m interested to see how the diet goes for you given your diabetic status. Please update on how it goes with the dietician and doctor! I too would be worried about ketoacidosis for you. Maybe you’ll have to add in a complex carb of sometime to help offset? Interesting! Love you guys! <3

    • DterminD

      Thanks! The adjustment will have to be ongoing as my body changes, but I have at least ten different people to help me out this time if things get crazy again! I’m using my Apple Watch for step tracking and heart rate monitoring these days. It’s not the most exact in the world, but the “steps walked” health goal has always been an estimate anyway, so I’m not too worried. If it’s fine with the docs (and so far it is) it’s enough for me. 🙂

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