Health, Journal

Doctor Day! My Results Are In!

After 10 years, I am still med free and can officially say I no longer have type 2 diabetes!
A few months back, I went into the doctor weighing 207 with an A1C of 6.9 (normal is 5.6 and below). Keep in mind, I hadn’t been to the doctor in over 5 years and had been eating just about anything I wanted. His instructions were to lose 20 pounds and fix my diet.
So, I pretty much gave up all carbs during the day and ate whatever I wanted for dinner (but stopped eating almost all sweets of any kind, including sugar-free). The first thing I noticed was my desire for food began to lessen. I am now at the point where I may eat a meal and a half to two meals per day. I am just not hungry during the day but I eat something so I don’t get ravenous (and start shoveling any food into my mouth).
Today was my follow-up visit and I managed to lose 17 of the 20 pounds and brought my A1C down to 5.8! Do you see that? I am .2 above normal! It was so funny: he was reading through my blood test results, “kidney function is good, liver function is good, no diabetes … ” and I yelled, “WHAT?” (I think I scared him a little). The rest of the results were perfect. This time, his instructions were to keep doing what I am doing and mostly focus on my weight (I will mostly focus on what I put in my mouth and maybe incorporate some actual exercise if it ever cools off here in Central California).
There is one issue that it turns out I have had since I was 18: gallbladder. I had a CT scan in July and there was a gallstone. He asked about pain, I described the intermittent pain I get, and we came to the conclusion that I have had a messed up gallbladder for 30 years. I have gone to multiple doctors over the years for the pain but they all said there was nothing wrong (even went to the Emergency Room out at County about 15 years ago and after doing no tests, the doctor told me my pain was an ulcer). So, I am waiting for a referral to a surgeon. If I can get this taken care of, I will be even more unstoppable! 🙂

Fitness, Journal

So, Who Am I and Why Am I Here?


I am a married 40 something over-weight type 2 diabetic who intends to remain med free. That is pretty much all those pages up there, rolled into one sentence. Of course, if you want more information, just click on the pages above. I’m brutally honest about myself. I’ve been heavy as far back as I can remember (my first double chin was in 4th grade). I was resigned to remain that way until 2010, when I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. I began Atkins, lost 10 pounds (got off my meds though my doctor didn’t know about it), thought my blood sugars were under control since I wasn’t gaining any weight, so I fell off the wagon. At the beginning of August 2013, I went back to the doctor. I was wrong. So, I embarked on Atkins again but this time I could not control my blood sugars (amazing what happens when you continue to test yourself, huh?). While desperately searching for the cause of my blood sugar swings, I stumbled upon the nutritional Ketogenic diet. It has been a life saver (literally).  So, check out the pages above (see some awful pictures of me) for more information. On my stats page, you wil find my weight, measurements, and fasting blood glucose reading for the day and here you can find my physical training schedule.  I recently update the About 1972 Atkins page to include a snippet about the first week (Level 1) AND the menu included in the original book.

Fitness, Journal

Doctor, Low Carb, Weights, Anger

I need to find a new doctor.  I started seeing him because he was there for the birth of my husband (yeah, he’s that old).  The whole family goes to him.  But after today, I need to find a doctor that will support the changes I’ve made in my life.
So, the first words out of his mouth are, “Your blood sugar is out of control”.  Me: “I thought I was doing so much better than when I was here in July!”.  Him: “Well, your average is in the 160s.”  Me: “What does that mean?  Is it lower than it was last time?”  He looks … “Yes but we need to put you on medication.”  Me: “Oh, man.” Him: “Well, you don’t have to do anything if you want to go blind and lose limbs!”
I explained that I had been doing so good, read off my morning and evening blood glucose readings for the last few weeks and didn’t understand how my a1c could still be so high still.  I told him my exercise schedule (2 days cardio, 3 days weights) and he snapped, “Why are you lifting weights?  Have you ever seen a skinny weight lifter?”  Me: “But I’ve lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks!” Him: “Oh.” Now comes diet.
I told him I started on Atkins, then switched.  Before I could even tell him anything else, “So, what do you eat for breakfast?” Me: “A couple of eggs with some cheese”.  Him: “And lunch?”  I think for a minute … Him: “Is it really that hard for you to tell me what you eat for lunch?”  Me: “I’m down to about 20 carbs per day.” Him: “What? Do you eat potatoes, rice, oats, bread?” Me: “No.”  Him: “Well, we need to get you on a 2000 calorie/day diabetic diet.”
This is the third time he’s tried this one.  Let me show you just the two sample breakfasts they give:
Sample One:
2/3 cup Apple Juice (Apple Juice – 100 % Apple Juice- No Sugar Added – 29 g carb)
1/2 cup oatmeal (Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal – Hot Oatmeal – 27 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 soft-boiled egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)
Sample Two
1 cup Orange Juice (Florida’s Natural – Premium Orange Juice Most Pulp No Sugar Added – 11 g carb)
3/4 cup Corn Flakes (Kellog’s – Corn Flakes Original – 18 g carb)
2 slices Toast (Ezekial – Sprouted Grain & Seed Bread – 30 g carb)
1 poached egg
2 t. margarine (NEVER!)
1 cup 2% milk (Borden – 2% Reduced Fat Milk (8 Oz) – 12 g carb)
So, he actually thinks it healthier for me to either have 98 grams (Sample One) or 71 grams (Sample Two) carbohydrates in a single meal than to continue with the way of eating that has already showed an improvement in my daily blood sugar readings?
That was it. He handed me two boxes of Januvia samples and wants me to come back in 3 months. I left sobbing. It’s not like I expected him to grab my hand and tell me what a good girl I’ve been but I did expect some kind of acknowledgement that I had worked hard and improved my health. Once I got home, I called the office back to find out what my a1c numbers were. July was 8.3 and last week’s was 7.5. That still didn’t make sense until that word average popped out on my computer screen. Average … so what was it really? I don’t give a shit about the average … I want to know what the actual number was last week (She couldn’t see any other numbers on the report). I want to know exactly how much of an improvement I made in 6 weeks. I guess I could do some Algebra but that will just irritate me. HA! I did it. So, my true a1c from last week was 6.7 … a 1.7 decrease in 6 weeks and he wants me to fundamentally change everything that has worked?
I am upset, sad, and angry.


Can You Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

This article supports the answer I got when I asked if type 2 can be cured.  The answer I received was, “My suspicion is that it is like high blood pressure.  When you’re heavier, your BP may cross into abnormal ranges but be normal at lighter weights.  I believe type 2 diabetes is similar in its action.  In survival situations, many type 2, especially if it occurred late in life, will be improved simply due to dietary restrictions and increased activities of daily survival.  The word “cure”, however, is too strong.  If you gain weight or become a couch potato, it will come right back.”


Me And Diabetes

My friend’s mother was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  I wanted to bestow my wisdom (yeah, I know) on him so that perhaps it could help during this transition.  Then, I realized I had never really shared my experience with anyone (well, not too many).  So, here I am.

I don’t actually remember when I was diagnosed (last year or the year before).  What I do know is I had been having health problems for years that I kept attributing to other factors, illnesses, conditions, whatever I could find via Google.  I experimented with different treatments (yes, acting as my own doctor because not one of these problems I felt was important enough to see a doctor about).  Then God thumped me on the head, like He has so many times in my life.  I developed a severe allergy to seafood.  It is so severe now that I can’t even go near an aquarium (you should have seen me at Bass Pro Shops … that’s how I found out about that one).  So, Emergency Room, followed by a visit to my family doctor, which included all the tests you can imagine when you have never (and I mean never) had a thorough yearly exam.

That’s when I was hit with it and now, looking back over my life, I think I had type 2 diabetes for at least 21 years (well, 21 years this past February).  I was thirsty all the time.  If I did not have something to drink at all times (I couldn’t go more than 20 minutes without drinking something) my mouth and throat would become so dry I would cough and have a hard time breathing.

I couldn’t go more than an hour or two (two was pushing it) or less time if I was doing heavy manual labor without eating.  If I did, I would get the shakes and feel very weak (sometimes I felt like I was going to pass out).  I describe the start of it like this, “It feels like my stomach is shaking, like it’s cold”.  After meeting, then marrying my husband, I always felt self-conscious about raiding their cupboards so we would be there for hours before he would force me to eat something (that’s one of the times it felt like I was about to pass out).

Cuts and scrapes (especially on my hands/fingers) became infected quickly and took forever to heal once the infection was dealt with (sometimes, soap and water just don’t work like they should).  Even though I was always diligent (too much information for some but I’m a female … what are you going to do?) I got yeast infections all the time.  Before being diagnosed, I thought I had just developed allergies to certain ingredients but after changing everything, nothing worked.  And even though I can’t say they are directly related to the diabetes, I got bladder/kidney infections at least once a year.  I say directly related because my view of my body is, when one thing goes wrong, a lot goes wrong at the same time.  It’s like my body has A.D.D. (it can’t really focus on one thing while there are too many distractions).

So, when I was diagnosed, I did exactly what my doctor said (but, as always, took it to the extreme).  I took my Metformin and Glucophage.  I regularly cut myself (tested my blood sugar).  Instead of living on sugar (sugared coffee all day during the winter and sugared tea and soda during the summer) I went sugar-free everything (and let me tell you, Sugar-Free Sees Candies are not even worth the bother … yuck!).  I even embarked on the 1970’s version of Atkins (as in fats, meat and salad).  After 4 months, I was off all my medications.  Due to my diet and the medications, my blood sugar would drop so low I would have to scarf sugar to bring it back up (fruits and juices didn’t work fast enough).  As long as I followed that sugar intake with a slower digesting carbohydrate (or even just some straight meat), I wouldn’t experience a sugar high, then crash.  It wasn’t easy.  I actually cried one night because I could smell the Cheez-Itz my step-daughter was eating.

Due to other health issues (not mine) I had to abandon the die-hard Atkins way of eating.  Although my blood sugars have been normal for at least a year, I am always watching for the signs to come back.  Last week I got REALLY thirsty so I freaked out.   I checked my blood sugar and it was normal.  I guess it was just the 100+ degree weather and I was legitimately thirsty!  🙂  I just eat better, still focusing on proteins (not having a pile of toast for breakfast like before) with a side of good carbohydrates and a sprinkling of bad if I still want them.  I think, as in all things, the key (in my case) is simply moderation.  If I were to lose more inches, I would be better physically but that’s not my main focus (since this saga began, I have only lost roughly 10 pounds but I have lost 9 inches off my waist alone).  I actually squeezed my rear into a size 14 pants yesterday (it wasn’t pretty … I looked like a mushroom) but I could breathe AND sit without busting out the seams!

My point in all this is, it’s not the end of the world.  It may feel like it (especially in the beginning when you have to give up all that you have loved to eat for so many years) but you will eventually learn to appreciate food again, I promise.

Low Carb, Recipe


I have just started my journey with stevia.  The one plant I got a few months ago (I need more) just isn’t enough for all the experimenting I need to do in order to fully incorporate this wonderful plant into my diet.  From all the reading I have been doing, it seems the best way to use the stevia plant as a sweetener is as an extract.  This E-How article explains it perfectly:

It seems the key to eliminate the bitterness is to limit the time the plant material is in the alcohol.  While there are directions out there that use water instead of alcohol, it seems the alcohol pulls out the sweet elements of the plant more efficiently.

So, once I have the extract, how will I use it?  I found this conversion in this .pdf:

Now, I did make a coffee drink with stevia (this is where my leaves have gone so far) but I tripled the amount of stevia called for and it still wasn’t sweet enough for me (so I added a little Splenda).  It also uses water, which from what I’ve read does not extract enough sweetness.  Here’s the coffee drink:

So, onward and upward.  I will be purchasing a few more stevia plants this week and we’ll see how things go!