The doctor comes in with his pristine white lab coat. Your mind starts wandering, what type of detergent he is using, just to keep calm. He looks you in the eye and gives you the dreadful diagnosis you been waiting a week for. Your heart skips a beat. You knew deep down the prognosis wasn’t good but was in denial. The room becomes still and you can cut the air with a knife. Your loved one holds your hand for reassurance, but their kind gesture does very little for comfort. There are a million questions running through your mind, and the most dominant Why Me?
The Big question is what to do from here? How do I fight this diagnosis? Do you have it in you to put up a fight? What or who is going to keep you grounded? These are pertinent questions you need to dig down deep and answer for yourself. But the one thing no one can take away from you is Hope. It is a powerful thing that has defied the odds of physics and science more times than anyone can count. We are here to let you know there is Hope. We are willing to Fight beside you.
My name is D’Xtira (Dex) Brown the author of Naturally Me. This was me at 25 years old getting the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. I was in nursing school at the time and knew I had the classic symptoms. Always tired, nocturia (excessive urination at night), hives after I ate, and I lost 30 lbs in 2 months. I knew I had to see the doctor. I was in denial because I wasn’t grossly overweight approximately 170lbs and thought well you get diabetes in your mid to late 40 and 50s typically. Remember I was 25 years old at the time. I thought to myself how could this possibly be true, I don’t have any diabetic relatives in my immediate family. So why me, and why now? My doctor informed me that because I had a hormonal imbalance called PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian diseases) there was a link that caused women to become pre-diabetic. They are not quite sure why. But I knew I had to change my eating habits and entire lifestyle if I wanted to continue living a healthy life.
Diabetics are more susceptible to getting heart disease, strokes, foot ulcers, vascular issues, amputations, and their immune systems can be weakened post operations. For women they are at high risk of having premature labor, bigger babies, babies born with low sugar, babies becoming diabetics themselves or developmental problems. I went to church asking God to heal me from this dreadful disease. A small still voice told me that this was not going to be an instantaneous miracle. That I would have to make the changes to my lifestyle in order to be healed. I didn’t become a Type 2 Diabetic overnight. When I graduated high school I weighed 117 lbs. I received a home cooked meal almost every day thanks to my wonderful mother. I barely ate take-out and fast food. I was a runner and probably had less than 10% body fat. When I arrived in the United States in North Carolina for college I put on my freshman 15 by my junior year. Taco Bell and southern sweet tea became my weakness. I didn’t workout anymore. When I got married at 22 I was googly-eyed and happy so I put on additional weight during that first year. I’m only 5’3 so weighing 170lbs I had 35% body fat. I remember eating Bojangle’s blueberry biscuits every Sunday after church. Those were the good old days of the honeymoon years. My husband put on weight as well. Fat and happy was what we were. But this diagnosis was a wake-up call that something had to change. We were going down a self-destructive path that would eventually lead us to have our latter years filled with medical problems, and endless doctor visits and medical bills. That is not how I envisioned retirement. I want to be able to travel the world and play with my grandchildren.
I want to be the fit grandma that aged gracefully. Where people would confuse me and my adult daughter as sisters, not mother and daughter. I want to travel the world and enjoy my grandkids and great grandchildren. I want to have longevity and God-willing live to be in my 90s and die peacefully in my bed with all my family around me. I want to bless them before I depart into the next life. Don’t we all want that kind of fairytale ending? However, the nightmare of being trapped in a body full of ailments or amputations was all too real for me. It would literally be Hell on earth. I work in the Emergency Department, so I witness first hand how patients with chronic medical problems frequent there, begging for relief. It’s heartbreaking and very somber. The saddest part of all is that most of these medical issues could have been resolved by making healthy lifestyle changes. When I got that phone call from my endocrinologist that my kidney functions were being inhibited. I had been dealing with this disease for 5 years and had 3 children. It was starting to take a toll on my body. I knew it was time to clamp down and lose the weight. To be rid of Type 2 Diabetes and these medications once and for all. I am determined to walk my children down the aisle and play with my grandchildren and spoil them rotten.
Diet, exercise, quit smoking, stop binge drinking, dedication and education are key factors to living a healthy life. You have to make a decision. It’s Never too late to start. Once you do, vow never regress back to your old lifestyle. You will regret it in the long run. Step 2 come up with a game plan. Write down healthy manageable goals. It takes 21 days to make something a habit. So try to commit to the first 21 days. But it begins with Day 1. Step 3 surround yourselves with loved ones that want to support your lifestyle change. Encourage them to take the challenge with you, if they are struggling with their own demons as well. Step 4 educate yourself with healthier food options. This is where Naturally Me comes into play. If you control what is going into your body and better ways to detox to allow harmful chemicals to leave, you are one step closer to attaining your goals. Step 5, get mobile and start moving. Just 15 minutes or less every other day changed by life. I lost 20lbs in 12 weeks. With 15 minute workouts or less. I have three little ones 6, 4, and 2, and I work full-time nights, so I get I get very little sleep. Believe me when I say 15 minutes was all I had in me. But I dropped 2 dressed sizes and went from a size 12 to a size 8. I’m still a work in progress believe me. But I’m working on reaching my 135 lb goal. I will reach this by summer and will have a beach body in no time. I will go more in depth of my exercise routines in another blog.
Make this decision for You. You are your biggest cheerleader. Make the decision now. Nothing comes easy in this life. My number one advice to you is, don’t go cold turkey. Everything in moderation. Don’t do crazy fad diets or starve yourself. Make the conscientious decision to choose a salad over a burger. Instead of eating 4 slices of pizza, have only 2 and eat a salad. Have some fruit or yogurt instead of that donut. How about 2 cigarettes a day rather than 6. If cheat you once in a while who cares, I still cheat too. We are only human and it’s ok to indulge every now and then and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Day 1 starts Now. Cheers to longevity. Let’s take this journey together. Till next time.