Community Posts Duane's Journey

Duane’s Health & Fitness Journey

Hey there. If you’re reading these posts in order you’ve already met my friend and business partner Nikki. Unlike her, my story spans a few decades, so settle back…

I am a 50 year-old man, carrying about 50 extra pounds and recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The worst part of this? My doctor warned me 6 years ago that this was going to happen to me, and I had a chance to avoid the dreaded D word. So what did I learn? Well 2 things: Listen to your doctor, and the way to change the trajectory of your life is having the proper motivation. Now, I have it. Unfortunately, it took a while. But, I refuse to die from diabetes related deterioration.

It wasn’t always like this for me. All through high school and college I was very thin. In fact, I wanted to gain weight and couldn’t. I’m 5’10” and didn’t crack 135 until I was 26. (Which was really underweight for my height. I figure I should have been about 175.) When I look back, I can reverse engineer why that was and why and how everything changed. In college, I played tennis with my friends a lot, and ran 3 times a week with my running buddies. When I left college, I got a job as a retail manager. That meant on my feet all day – walking around the store, moving boxes, etc. And it also meant doing this 60 hours a week. Not exactly a sedentary lifestyle.

Then….at age 26…I got my first professional “desk” job as a marketing manager. Talk about a 180! I was sitting on my ass all day, and “all day” meant 8 hours, not 12. So, as you can imagine, I still had a lot of “go” left in me at 5:00. Where I spent that extra energy was not exactly productive. You see, the entire sales staff was about my age and there was a really cool bar right across the street from work that served cheap beer & apps…and had great live bands almost nightly.

You can see where this is going…

Three to four times per week, we’d meet after work, drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of greasy food, and do that until 12, sometimes 2 am.

That’s when the monster was born. That monster is the parasitic visceral belly fat, hell-bent on killing me, that I still carry to this day. (If you don’t know this, visceral belly fast causes things like, heart disease, insulin resistance and diabetes.)

Back to the story. I blew right past my ideal of 175 lbs. In addition, the monster grew to a 10 pound baby by the time I was 28. That’s up to 185. When you think about it, that means that at 50 years old, the monster is now about 23-24 years old. Like an adult child that’s recently graduated from college. (I’m so proud.)

To pause briefly and make an analogy here…

What if you have a 10 pound malignant tumor in your body at age 28? Would you have it removed? Or would you say “Naw… it’s not really big enough to worry about yet…I’ll let it grow some more.”

In this case I did the latter. If you’re here reading this, I think we ALL did the latter. I think back on how easy it would have been to kill the monster when it was still young. And now the monster is all grown up and killing me. This is how I think of it everyday. My current mission is to kill that monster, and most days I feel like we’re in an even match.
Fast forward to 6 years ago, when my doctor told me I have “Metabolic Syndrome” a.k.a. insulin resistance.  And he said, “Duane, you will get diabetes unless you lose weight”.  He said it with such certainty…why would I ignore him?  Possibly because the monster was a young adult and I was a middle aged man. I felt helpless, and not capable of killing it…perhaps it was because I enjoyed my booze and greasy food too much and didn’t really want to change.

It doesn’t matter now.  I don’t have a time machine.  I can’t go back and kill the monster.  I can’t prevent my diabetes.  I can kill the monster now before it kills me.  I have to.

Since I started this fight 6 weeks ago, I’m down 15 lbs, only 50 or so more to go.  It’s really not an easy adjustment for me.  But Nikki and I are on our respective journeys together.  We have found that there are definitely things you can do to make the journey less painful and sometimes even fun.  This is why we started Weight Loss Cupcakes.  To find the fun and pleasure in life that can carry us (that includes you) through some of the rough patches we’ll face as we go from where we are to a healthier version of each of us.   We’re in this together now and this is NOT a spectator sport.  We expect full participation.  We want you to tell your stories, comment, like and share.

Buckle up.  We’re in for a hell of a ride.

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