2022 Diabetic Progress
Updated: Sep 4
The past year has been quite a ride for me. I have learned so much on my journey of diabetes control and over all health. Before I get into too many details about my diabetic progress, I want to tell you a little of where I started and where I am at now.
I have had diabetes for 18 years and for the most part I thought I was doing well at managing it. My weight was way down from my highest level and I was exercising most of the time. But I was still using insulin and on several blood pressure meds. My weight yo-yoed up and down 30 pounds. But over timeI was feeling tired and run down, just overall not feeling the best. I kept thinking it was my age, I was approaching 60 years old and age was just catching up. It was time to do something different.
At the beginning of this year I joined a biggest loser weight loss contest, I couldnt get any weight off, I felt lazy. I was really struggling with how I felt and needed to do something different and this is where I want to start my story of my past journey. I want to clarify, my goal was not as much as weight loss as it was overall health and feeling better.
My first step was getting on the Optivia Meal Plan, this is basically a macro controlling plan with supplied food. It is a lot of shakes and bars. I really like the convienience of this program, I also lost 15 pounds fairly quick. The trick with this, for diabetes, was 6 meals a day with roughly 15 carbs. The low carb over time did help me control my blood sugar levels. I have a lot of good to say about Optivia and would suggest it to a lot of people. But I felt the need to go more Whole Foods and less processes, so I moved to a more controlled whole food plan, following the Optivia macros and six meals a day. I was heading in a good direction, feeling better, being more active but not off of my meds, even though I had reduced some, I still had that need to do more.
Well in July I decided to join a medically managed program called Virta. This is a program targeting diabetics and reduction of the meds. Virta assigned me a coach and a medical advisor. Within 30 days I was off my insulin and my high blood pressure meds in half. Now the part that turns most off with this program, it is a nutritional based Keto plan. Cut your carbs and you eliminate your diabetes issues, but it is often to restrictive for most. So far I am please with the program, I do miss some foods but I am making it happen.
Now to tell you where I am today. Down 40 pounds, no diabetic meds at all, still a small dose of high blood pressure meds, but overall feeling great. I have so much more energy, I lift weight 3 times a week, do yoga 2 times a week and I don’t feel tired all the time. This process has really given me a major shift in how important our daily food source is.
To the diabetics reading this, managing your diabetes is really a numbers game. If you are type 2, your body is producing some insulin. Now you have to determine how many carbs your body can handle before it needs help and is it 3 meals a day or six smaller meals? There are many ways to achieve this but it takes time to determine what works. For me I have found that, 10-15 carbs a meal, my body can handle it, then is that 3 times or 6 times a day? For me I have my Keto coffee in the morning, breakfast around 10 am, usually some eggs and veggies. Then it is a light lunch, little heavier on protein and then a reasonable meal at night, still in that 10-15 carbs a meal. The body builders tell me that I am not eating enough, well I am gaining muscle and feeling great, remember I am nearing 60 and I don’t plan on being this bulked up man.
I get many that ask if this is really worth the effort? For me it is yes and I am sure that it is not for everyone. I like how I feel, the energy that I have and I know from my blood test, I am better for it.
There are so many ways to improve your health and to often we want immediate results. I have been at this for 18 years and am just finally getting to a place I have wanted to be. There is also no wrong or right way to achieve your goals, it is really all about what works for you and can you make it a life time commitment? That is my next step?, determining whether I want to eat this way forever, I can go back to insulin and be tired if I want. Right now I don’t see that as an option for me.
I think one of the best thing I have learned is great to have someone to talk to about your plan, get some support and don’t do it alone. Be open to try new things and new ways of living, exercising and fixing meals. I also found that I do a lot of reading and learning different ways of managing myself.
One last thing I want to leave you with, look at this as an investment in yourself. I spend time exercising and preparing meals, I also spend money on some products that people may be opposed to, but it is part of my overall health. Remember that you are worth investing in, like our car, house or whatever you want to compare to, it takes effort, time and some investment! You are worth it!
I am always willing to share my experiences with anyone willing to listen.