On April 25th, 2018, I received news that was shocking to me: I had type 2 diabetes. I was angry and terrified. How had this happened? I’d been fine, basically healthy my whole life. Fat, yes – but healthy and well for the most part. I was scared and confused. I’d fought against diet culture and the fear and judgments/”moralizing” of food for decades. I embraced my fat body. I was happy. Food was not complicated for me – I ate mostly healthfully and whatever I wanted. I was fairly active. Suddenly, I didn’t know what was safe to eat or what I needed to do to return to health and stay off medications. One thing that I was clear about: I did NOT want to be on any medications! So, I wrote a post on Facebook asking my friends for suggestions. One friend suggested reading The Blood Sugar Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman. I read that and began his 6 week program … and then just kept going with it. (TW/CW: he uses the word “diabesity”, which I find offensive and annoying as hell, he also has a strong focus on weight – but I took the information I needed and left the bias and BS, although I can certainly see how it could be triggering. Unfortunately, that is the general reality in the medical field and trying to get useful information is nearly impossible without wading through the ignorant bias against fatness). I read several other books and resources and applied what made sense to me. My blood sugar normalized and many of my other health indicator numbers improved as well.
I was doing great for almost 2 years, then I started slipping off program more and more. When the pandemic hit, I abandoned the program almost completely. It took almost a year for me to start feeling bad enough to need to do something about it, but here we are. My blood sugar is not as high as when I was diagnosed, but I am not feeling well. I want to feel well! (and stay away from the doctors as much as possible!) So, I’m going back to basics. I know what to do now to get my blood sugar back under control. I’m not afraid this time, just committed to feeling good and taking care of my own health. I thought I’d share my journey for those who could use some ideas and encouragement.
One thing I want to be really clear about: this is NOT about weight. I was still fat when my blood sugar returned to normal. Yes, I did lose weight while I was on the program, but that was not my goal or focus – and once again, because people seem to look past this point: I was still fat when my blood sugar was back to normal. It is not about the weight. I’m not going back on the program with any weight concerns. I’m taking the steps I need to take in order to get my blood sugar where I need it to be so that I can feel good again.
Please note: I am NOT a medical professional nor a nutritionist and in no way, shape, or form am I offering medical or dietary advice. I am simply sharing my own personal journey. I encourage you to seek out the professional help you may need. Do your own research. I do highly recommend Dr. Hyman’s book – it has been very helpful to me! (TW/CW: he does focus a bit on weight, unfortunately – which I simply ignored – I’ve found that I have to reach past those annoying weight biases in order to find the information I need). I also learned over these years that I don’t have to be quite as strict about the program as I was being the first 18 months or so – but I do need to maintain an awareness of carb levels in the foods I’m eating and also the amount of food I eat at one time. I’m learning to find my balance. I’ll be talking about that in future blog posts.
I was afraid to eat anything at first, but soon I was comfortable with a variety of delicious meals that allowed my blood sugar to stabilize at normal levels.
You may notice a lot of spices on my foods – yes, I started putting cinnamon and turmeric on everything. That’s just one of many tips and tricks I used to balance my blood sugar. I’m referring back to my notes from that time about what worked, what was helpful. I’ll share as many as I can remember as I go along.
Disclaimer: Please be advised that I am not a medical professional nor a dietician. This site is not in any way, shape, or form providing any sort of diagnosis, advice, cures, or recommendations for medical or dietary treatments. I am simply sharing my own journey and experiences. Nothing I say is intended to replace proper medical care.
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I also do individual coaching on self-love and body image if you feel that would be helpful to you. Go here to learn more. Best wishes on your path!