When I first started trying to lose weight, my motivation was simple. I was frustrated at the kind of person I’d become, and how it didn’t at all match who I wanted to be. Not looks or medical concerns, but my lifestyle.
Oddly, it was enough to get me where I am now, at a healthy weight and able to actually do fun, active stuff. Over the past 5 years, I’ve not only been living the healthy life, I’ve been learning and supporting it in the members at my homebase (the gym I’m addicted to).
In working with my trainer (the owner of my gym) and assisting him in his work on fitness and nutrition for his clients, I’ve been getting into the research myself.
The weird thing is, it was in researching diabetes that I realized something unsettling: At my heaviest, I was showing symptoms of being pre-diabetic:
One possible sign that you may be at risk of type 2 diabetes is darkened skin on certain parts of the body. This condition is called acanthosis nigricans. Common areas that may be affected include the neck, armpits, elbows, knees and knuckles. – mayoclinic.org
Back when I had this discoloration, I had no idea what it was. I just knew it was annoying and wouldn’t go away. I figured it was just another aspect of my various skin issues. I wasn’t getting any kind of regular checkup, so there wasn’t a doctor to tell me what it could be.
Now, of course, the discoloration is gone. I seem to have dodged a bullet. My last physical was a clean bill of health. (Of course, the only reason I got a physical was to qualify for fights, but whatever). Now that I know how close I was to Type 2 diabetes, I’m even more certain that the eating habits and lifestyle I’ve developed in my pursuit of weight loss must be permanent, otherwise I’ll end up going down the Type 2 Diabetes road that others in my family have followed. I’d rather spend my money on good food and personal training than medication and regular blood checks that isn’t nearly as fun.
While I still have a little weight to lose, it’s in pursuit of a personal goal of athleticism, not health concerns. That’s a good place to be.