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Aug 13 2009

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It's the Diabetes, Stupid

I gave up trying to lose weight years ago. There are so many issues from childhood that go directly to why I gained weight, and why I tenaciously hang onto it. I grew weary of fighting with myself (and me and I) about it.

A year ago, I ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, and was admitted with scary-bad blood sugar and blood pressure numbers. I’ve taken diabetes meds for 15 years, but had never tested my blood at home, in large part because as a child I had needles stuck into my fingers for punishment. Just couldn’t go there voluntarily.

Well, I decided that I could, in fact, go there when I got home. So a year ago, I began testing my blood 4-6 times a day. My doctor wanted me to go on insulin, but I asked for six months to see if I could improve my diet to make a difference in my numbers. I learned very quickly that my life as a carboholic had to end. (But carbs are a basic food group! waaaaaaa)

Without changing any of the medications I was then taking, in the last year, I lowered my HbA1c test from 9.3 to 6.8. That’s a measure of my blood sugar for the 2-3 months prior to the test. The minimum goal to shoot for is 6.5, and my next test in a few weeks should go well below that. I am now hitting “normal” non-diabetic numbers to such an extent that I’m actually going too low too often, and am starting to dial back the med doses.

That success is sweet, but the most stunning surprise was that in the last 10 weeks I lost 14 pounds. Not at all because I am “dieting” but because I am eating to control my diabetes. Trying to lose weight is hard-wired in me to fail. Trying to lower my blood sugar numbers is becoming hard-wired in me to succeed.

That is the secret. I wish I’d figured this out 15 years ago, but it’s mine, now.

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Permanent link to this article: http://thirdofalifetime.com/2009/08/13/its-the-diabetes-stupid/