My name is Mary and I’m a type 2 diabetic.
I’m a type II diabetic and I’m the worst. I’m the kind of patient doctor’s hate because I don’t follow instructions and I treat my chronic illness with a devil-may-care attitude. I routinely forget to take my medications for days at a time and I only check my blood sugar every couple of months or when my fiancé makes me. I’m sure if he could test my blood sugar in my sleep without me knowing he’d be doing it every night. To be fair though, I’ve been on the same meds for 5 years and no matter what I ate or what I did, my blood sugar numbers were always where they were supposed to be.
Well after a few weeks of stress with planning the wedding, my job being crazy busy and bad eating to deal with the stress I was a hot mess. I was moody, lethargic, with copious amounts of anxiety and not being able to sleep. I was dragging every day at work and I just felt terrible and tired and sick with frequent painful headaches that would last days at a time and had the potential to turn into migraines and totally knock me out for the day. My fiancé finally convinced me to go to the doctor.
My doctor took complete blood work and when the results came back my fasting blood sugar was 300 which is really, really bad. I had never been that high before. My fasting blood sugar should be between 70-130. This was scary, scary stuff. He also tested my A1C which basically figures out the average of your blood sugar over the past 3 months. A good AIC for a diabetic is around a 7 but mine was a 9.5 which puts me in the risk category. A 9.5 meant that my blood sugar on average was somewhere between 280-380 at any given time.
He started talking about how the next step would be insulin and I’m flat out told him no. That is not an option at this point for me. I asked what other options I had available and he said diet and exercise. I find it insulting his first option for me was insulin not diet and exercise. I know I can manage my diabetes with diet, exercise and meds and I wanted a chance to prove to him and myself that I can do this.
So we discussed my diet and meal plan and he put me on a low carb/low sugar diet where I should only have approximately 100 grams of carbs per day. To put that into perspective a deli bagel can have 50g of carbs and a fruit smoothie can have up to 65g of carbs. If I had a bagel and fruit smoothie for breakfast which is typical of the standard American diet, I would be over my limit.
It was a challenge but I knew that if I want to be healthy and live my life to the fullest and be active and happy then I had to make this change and I had to be serious about it. No half ass attempts where I give up when it gets hard. This is my life and I want to live it and enjoy it.
So I started my adventure at the beginning of the week. The fact that my carb target was so low easily cut out almost all processed junk right away. I was eating lots of chicken, fish, healthy fats like nuts, avocado, olvies and vegetables and minimum amounts of fruit. Having to stay away from bananas and pineapple because they are high glycemic foods made me sad but seeing my blood sugar number get lower and lower by the day kept me driven.
The good news is that once I have a tight control on my blood glucose numbers and a normal A1C I can try introducing them back in as long as they fit into my carb count and they don't cause spikes in my blood sugar.
I thought I would have cravings or detox symptoms and while I did have headaches at the beginning they soon went away.
By the end of the week I was already sleeping better and felt more alert with a lot more energy and a lot less anxiety. I was able to work out every day, cook healthfully and keep up with the household chores and errands easily. The constant headaches also haven’t returned.The difference was like night and day. This is the Mary I always wanted to be. I’m Mary on a Mission to a healthy lifestyle and I’m on my way one meal, one day, one week at a time.
Now on to my Eats
Weekend Food blog:
Snack: Yogurt and berry smoothie on my way to my follow up doctor’s appointment
Breakfast: Chicken sausage, 1/2 tbs ketchup, half an avocado and string cheese.
After doing some major grocery shopping for healthy food at Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe as well as cleaning out the refrigerator and pantry of “bad” food I was STARVING
Lunch: Chicken soup & salad with shrimp and TJ’s cilantro dressing. Yummy. I was so full afterwards but so satisfied.
Dinner: Steak and eggs plus some sautéed spinach with garlic.
After dinner snack: Half a large apple with almond butter
Exercise: 40 minute walk with Becca Bo Peep. It’s been a looong winter. We were both huffing and puffing by the time we were done.
Total Calories: 1,759
Calories burned: -240
Carb count: 99
Breakfast: Low carb breakfast made by my sweetie. Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and cheese, chicken sausage with a tbs of organic ketchup and 1/3 cup of blueberries. The last few times I’ve bought blueberries at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods I’ve gotten tasteless berries. These organic ones from Aldi were AMAZING!
Lunch: Spent the day with my 8 year old niece Dakotah. She wanted Panera and we obliged. Panera bread pick two, broccoli & cheddar soup, chicken cobb salad with avocado and the baguette.
Even though I asked for an apple as my side, I got the bread and I ate it. I figured it was kismet. Plus I’d been so good all week that I decided I would call this my treat/cheat.
Snack: White chocolate latte for some much needed energy. It was the weekend I decided I would treat myself to another treat/cheat here even though I know from the first sip it was full of sugar and carbs.
About half an hour afterwards my stomach was not handling my lunch/cappuccino so well. I’m assuming it had to be the bread or cappuccino because I’d had this identical meal earlier in the week with an apple and I was fine. I had severe cramps and abdominal pain and kept running to the bathroom. TMI, I know. I’m not sure if I have some sensitivity to gluten or sugar that I never noticed before until I eliminated it from my diet or if this was just a fluke. If it was because I decided to have that bread or cappuccino, it was totally not worth it!
I think the roll and sickly sweet cappuccino was carb overload and I needed a nap when we got home.
Dinner: Made low carb chicken parmesan with zucchini noodles. The chicken was breaded with almond flour and parmesan cheese.
After dinner snack: Apple and string cheese
Exercise: None but did take my niece downtown and did lots of walking around the square.
Total Calories: 2,179
Calories burned: -0
Carb count: 183 (close to double what I should be at. No Bueno.)
Weigh in #2 Countdown to Wedding
Countdown to wedding (21 weeks left)
Starting weight: 226.4
Current weight: 223.4 (-3)
Woo hoo! Not only am I lowering my blood sugar by the day but I had a 3 pound loss. Total Win!