My Current Health Journey or How I'm Kicking Diabetes in the Glucose
On October 9, 2018, I received one of the best reports I’ve ever had from my doctor. I dropped my A1C low enough he called it “non-diabetic.” Here is the story of how I’m doing it.
On April 20, 2018, I had a checkup where I thought we were going to talk about my blood pressure because it was so high when I made a visit previously seeking antibiotics while I waited for my appointment with the dentist about an abscessed tooth. Instead, he looked at the report from my blood work and said, “You’re diabetic.”
My A1C was 6.8% and my blood glucose 163. These aren’t alarming numbers to someone who has dealt with Type 1 diabetes their whole life, but they were shocking to me. I was now in the Type II diabetes club. I was prescribed Metformin. I asked if it was possible to get off of it if I made some life changes and his answer was. “Probably not.” Challenge accepted.
We discussed how carbs and sugar were the biggest enemies of blood glucose, so it was an easy decision to cut those out immediately. Well, after I went home and pouted about that evening. The dietician recommended keeping my carbs to around 30 grams a meal. I changed to about that many in a week. Maybe not exactly, but I found no reason I had to eat bread, pasta or potatoes, so they were out. I also stopped anything I thought had sugar in it. No candy, ice cream or cookies. Easy decision, difficult to follow through.
Weight started to come off and blood glucose was going down, but I knew I could do more.
I began researching ideas and came across intermittent fasting. There are all kinds of versions from one meal a day, alternating fasting days and different hour schedules, so I settled on trying the 16:8 plan. You fast for 16 hours and confine all of your eating to an eight hour window. I chose noon to 8:00 PM because I thought that would fit my schedule the best. My weight loss accelerated.
I knew I was onto something with the intermittent fasting when I attended a school conference at a resort in Orlando, FL. I didn’t eat until lunchtime at the conference, ate dinner out at a restaurant every night and when I weighed in the following week I had LOST five pounds.
I had a checkup in July and I had lost 28 pounds already, but it was too soon to get an accurate A1C, so I had to make my next appointment for October 9, 2018, 9:45 AM. I had my target.
I continued to research, and by research I mean watch videos on YouTube, and I stumbled onto apple cider vinegar. A couple of tablespoons in water before a meal and it was supposed to help digestion, especially in men over 50. I’m a man over 50. It took some getting used to, but I was willing to try and I’m glad I did.
First week, I lost four pounds. (I didn’t weigh in while in Florida, so that was a two-week weight loss.) That was double what I was losing per week. Everything was now in place.
During this entire stretch I had also renewed my membership at Prodigy Wellness Center. I had dropped out the previous fall because I was overcommitted by trying to coach basketball at NMS again while doing Magnolia basketball on the radio, in addition to teaching. I enjoyed coaching again, but it was the wrong choice.
My research had yielded some information about exercise in helping reverse Type II diabetes. They recommended HIIT workouts, high intensity interval training. Shoot, just about every class Sarah Shepherd has at Prodigy is a HIIT workout. I recommitted myself to working out and regularly attended Boot Camp on Monday, cycle (my favorite) on Tuesday and TRX/Kettlebell Fusion on Thursday. I don’t know if it was noticeable to others, but I was trying harder than I ever did before. I had been away for over six months, yet everyone treated me like I hadn’t been gone at all.
I also decided to buy a bike and try to do a little riding on my own. I’ve only been out a few times, but I plan to do more in the future.
I also couldn’t be doing this without my family. They have adjusted to me quite well. They don’t follow everything I do, but they weren’t diagnosed with Type II diabetes, either. However, I couldn’t do what I’ve done without their help.
So here is the list: no carbs, no sugar, intermittent fasting, apple cider vinegar, HIIT workouts. There is the secret formula. No gimmicks, no quick fixes, no magic bullets.
Here are my current results:
Weight: from 307 to now 247 (Yep, I let myself get over 300 pounds. I’ve never admitted that publicly before. Only my doctor and family knew.)
A1C: from 6.8% to 5.3% or non-diabetic levels
Blood glucose: 163 to 102 on the morning of my blood work (I’ve been in the 90’s some)
Triglycerides: 221 down to 124
Blood pressure: 122/82 (It was 106/74 during my colonoscopy pre-op in late July)
I’m not looking for praise, I’m just sharing my story to maybe help someone who is in the same situation. I put myself into that predicament and I had to be the one who got me out. I’m not out yet. I would still like to lose more weight. I now own a dadbod, but I’d like to simply have a good body soon. I have July 20, 2019 on my calendar for Warrior Dash Ohio. I have to do a mud run so I can be a cool kid at the gym. But most of all, I don’t want to be unhealthy so I can be around a long time for my family.
I’ll gladly answer any questions you might have in the comments.