It was July 2012. I have had enough. My doctor had just diagnosed me with Diabetes Type 2, along with other serious health complications as well. I had written my own death warrant, I felt, by leading a very poor lifestyle and taking my life for granted. I needed to change that. I had to – there was so much to look forward to. A young family to look after, ambitions to be fulfilled, goodness to be shared and the legacy that I always talked about. That had to yet unfold. I couldn’t give up.
But, I have had enough. I reached that point, when I said to myself ‘this is it, I refuse to live a life of someone will self inflicted disabilities’. I needed my life back. There is this moment, when you make that decision, and that’s it. I was speaking with a leading nutritionist from London, Amanda Ursell today, who was on the BBC Radio 94.9, Eddie Nestor show with me, and we both agreed that change only happens when we reach that moment, when something inside us just clicks. That is the moment that I wish I had reached before it reached me.
That moment when I made a decision to change my life around, and I knew the extra weight was my first issue, I wanted it gone fast. As quickly as possible. I did not want to waste any more time. I wanted a quick fix. I also felt that losing all that excess weight would be impossible. I had no idea how to start, where to start and how to make it happen. So, I choose the next best option. I decided to speak to the doctor about that procedure I had heard so much about. The Gastric band or Gastric bypass surgery. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if all I needed to do was have a surgery and my weight would be considerably lower. I was so wrong.
My doctor was shocked that someone as educated and self aware as I, had chosen this option. I was not morbidly obese, nor was I at a point that I required medical intervention. What he shared opened my eyes, to the challenges of such a decision:
1) I had to choose to eat better, exercise and change my lifestyle to even be considered for a gastric bypass. That would take a while in any case.
2) The operation itself would be life threatening with horror stories of things going very wrong at the operating table.
3) Post surgery, I had to continue to eat less, eat better, healthier and exercise lots.
This was my moment of epiphany. I felt if I could make the decision to have a healthier lifestyle, make better food choices, better lifestyle choices, with exercise pre surgery, then I could do it without surgery.
That is how I managed to re-wire my thinking and chose the option of making life long lifestyle changes, and here I am today, with a healthy weight loss (still work in progress), diabetes under remission and a family that also follows a healthy lifestyle.
This was not easy at all. It was a lot of self talk, compromises, sacrifices, and challenges of temptations all around. It still is, and will always be, I know. I continue to keep myself above all this. I hope you do too.