When arriving in the United States in 1980, my dad developed a love for fast food. This is quite a stretch when he was used to eating beans, rice, and bread for most of his meals in El Salvador. However, for the years to come, he would eating Carls Jr. for lunch and consistently over-eating. It had gotten to the point where I did not remember what my father looked like when he was slim. I looked at old photographs of when I was four years old and saw this thin man that used to be my dad, and could not remember it. I grew up with an overweight dad. It was all I knew.
About five years ago, my father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and he knew exactly why. All that soda and terrible food had taken over his body. Not only was he afraid that it would get to the point of daily insulin shots (he hates needles), but I had just announced that I was pregnant with Brody. He was determined to get well for his unborn grandson.
And he did.
Cold turkey, he gave up all the fast food and soda. He followed every single thing his nutrionist told him to do. It was NOT easy for him. This was a man that went from breakfast pastries to steel cut oatmeal overnight! He also started exercising everyday, with just a brisk 30 minute walk every night. The change was incredible! The weight practically melted off and he was so much happier. By the time Brody was born, my dad had lost 20 pounds and was still losing. I have decided to try out his food schedule, because if it works for him, it might work for me, right?
Breakfast: Oatmeal and fresh-squeezed orange juice
Morning Snack: Apple
Lunch: Whole wheat sandwich (turkey and one slice of cheese) and a small side salad, olive oil as dressing
Afternoon Snack: Handful of Almonds
Dinner: One chicken breast and a small side salad.
At his next meeting with his nutritionist, my dad was told that he was the first person that had ever listened. I am not surprised! His routine is incredibly difficult to do because it relies on undeterrable consistency. I am so proud of my dad for sticking to this for the past five years. His motivation for his success was his family. It is unfortunate that it took diabetes to kickstart the change, but I am so glad it was diagnosed early enough so that my dad to take control. My dad is the greatest man I know and his strength is just another reason why.