Though hit with a bout of depression upon learning he had diabetes, Miller didn’t pay much heed to his diagnosis. Thinking that his medicine was the cure, he neglected to cut out his old habits of fast food and sweets.
Eventually his doctor set him straight, getting Miller to realize it was time to make a change, not just for himself but for his wife, two children, and his then recently born granddaughter.
Miller formulated his own routine of exercise and meal plans, and set weight loss goals. He lost an amazing 50 pounds and doesn’t plan on stopping there, enroute to a happier and healthier life for his wife and his family.
What happened after you received your diagnoses?
It really didn’t register until the next day, when I had the glucose meter in front of me and all the medications I was told to take. I thought it was due to an allergy shot with a side effect that raises my body’s sugar levels. The doctor told me to stick to the meds and recheck my A1C in 3 months to see where my levels were, and to do this for a year.
He also had me see a nutritionist. My levels did go back to normal, so I thought I was ok. They kept me on the meds, and I went back to my regular diet (meat, white rice, fast foods, ice cream, etc). With the weight gain, I then had more back problems and had to get a cortisone shot in my back which raised my blood sugar levels.
I went back to see my doctor in August of 2015, and they said my A1C levels were elevated to 9.3. I told him I would watch myself and see him in December. Again, he shook his head and said ‘you went down only .1 on your A1C’ and told me it was serious enough to put me on insulin. My weight was 219.5 lbs.
How did you and your family feel after all of this happened?
This was 2 days before Christmas, and I was really depressed by the fact that I finally admitted I was diabetic and needed to do something about or go on the insulin. My wife really supported me.
How soon after your diagnoses did you make the ultimate life change to become healthier?
My life changing event started December 22nd, 2015, after the doctor told me he had to put me on insulin. I told him I did not want to go there, and began what I believe is my new beginning. Doctor Hansen, who is my VA Doctor, got me in touch with a nurse. Her name Kim and she was to monitor me during the next three months with an in-house monitoring health system. Actually, I couldn’t lie about what I was eating. This system monitors my weight, blood pressure, and my twice a day glucose levels which sends them all via internet to her every day.
I saw my VA Doctor at the beginning of April and he just said, “WOW.” My A1C is now 6.3, and all my blood tests were better than normal. I weigh 182 lbs and feel awesome.
Did you use a specific diet? What was your daily meal plan and what part did exercise play?
So, I started my so called diet. I cut out a lot of carbs. People were asking if I started the ‘all protein’ diet. I told them no, that I just cut out my carbs and was also eating a lot of salads and greens. Chicken or fish would be my most common dish. After seeing my weight shed, I was convinced this was working for me and just keep with it. So, after a month, I went to see my family doctor and weighed in at 208. They tested my A1C and it was 7.5. I was heading in the right direction. I started out just doing a few push ups here and there. I also pulled out the ‘total gym’ and started doing some exercises. They told me 30 minutes, so every other day this is what I would do.
What motivated you to completely change your lifestyle?
I would have to say my beautiful wife Denise and the fact the insulin pens are in the refrigerator. You should see the needles on them!
if you can take 30 minutes of your time, do something physically challenging. That means get that heart pumping. It will change you, and everything else will follow.
What symptoms do you feel on a regular basis?
The doctor told me at the rate I was going I would eventually be on kidney dialysis. I also experienced eye problems during the month of December, I basically could not see. Everything was blurry. My feet started getting the ‘pins and needles’ feelings. One of my coworkers had his leg amputated from the knee down and another coworker came up to me and said she just lost her child to diabetes. I forgot my nurse Kim told me what happens when a diabetic pees a lot. They get rid of all that extra sugar, and when sugar goes through your kidneys it’s like little knives that shred up your kidney. She described it as a sand blaster.
You’ve lost a drastic amount of weight. Where did you start and where are you now? Do you plan on staying strong and reaching more goals?
In November I was at 232 pounds, and today in April of 2016 I am 182 pounds. My goal weight is to be 180 lbs by May. I think I am going to be a little smaller than that. Hopefully I do what I really want and be around 160 to 165, but we will see.
How would you motivate someone else who was recently diagnosed to change their lifestyle?
Eat healthy and exercise regularly. For people who need help, if you can take 30 minutes of your time, do something physically challenging. That means get that heart pumping. It will change you, and everything else will follow.
Your success story: how do you feel now and what are you most proud of?
Well, I finally saw my VA Doctor at the beginning of April and his words “WOW.” My A1C is now 6.3, and all my blood tests were better than normal. I weigh 182 lbs and feel awesome.