Health & Wellness Podcaster and Keynote
“Well,” the nurse sighed, “It’s not good.” Then she smiled sweetly, patted my shoulder and said the Doctor would be right in.
She had just taken my fasting blood sugar during my first-ever physical. I was 46 at the time and had been feeling lousy for quite a while. But, I chalked it up to working long hours at my high stress job.
When Dr. Cox arrived, she explained to me my fasting blood sugar was 360 – yep – that is not a typo, it was 360. Of course, at the time, I didn’t know what that meant. Dr. Cox explained that it was a high reading and a normal fasting blood sugar should be around 90-100.
That’s when she said I had developed Type 2 Diabetes, I remember thinking, “Well, that’s it, I’ve killed myself – this is a death sentence and I did it to myself.”
Now, I’m not usually one for pity parties, but I sure threw one over the next couple of days. Then, I Googled, “Can you reverse Type 2 Diabetes?” I was stunned to see that you can! And, even more amazing, is that I actually did.
This site – the recipes, blogs, videos and soon-to-come podcast – it’s all designed to share my experience and help you become happier, healthier and No Longer Diabetic.
How I Reversed Type 2 Diabetes in 6 Months
I knew I’d have to completely change my life and I mean everything. I couldn’t afford to just cut back on bad habits. I needed to cut them out completely. I’ve always been someone who believes you can accomplish anything with the right plan of action. So, I got busy.
The Action Plan.
The first thing I did was make a list of everything I’m allowed to eat. Not what I can’t eat – what I CAN eat. This is important because if you focus on what you can’t have, that’s what you will crave. But, when you recognize all the kinds of foods you can have, then, you’ll start exploring new ways to prepare them. I decided to keep my daily calorie intake to around 950 for the first few months and then increase it to no more than 1,100.
Now, at that time, I regularly worked 70-hour very stressful weeks. Food was either a comfort or a convenience, which means it was loaded with fat, salt, carbs, and sugar. At the time, I not only felt awful and was about forty pounds overweight, I also had terrible joint pain. It had become so bad that I walked down steps sideways and had trouble holding heavy plates. I now know this was because sugar and the chemicals that go into diet sodas and processed foods cause inflammation. Because my body was so stiff and sore, I was concerned about the kinds of exercises I could do. I researched how many steps I’d need to take every day in order to lose weight. It was 10,000.
I decided the kind of exercise I’m most likely to stick with and enjoy every single day is hiking (with my dog) in the woods. There is a 3-mile trail nearby that I love. That’s about 6, 000-7,000 steps and it would take me around an hour. Basic math says I’d need another 3,000 to 4,000 steps, so I added either a twenty-minute aerobic workout or bike ride, plus evening walks with my dog.
Now, that’s a lot of daily exercise, to be sure. To help make all this happen, I quit my high-stress job so I could focus solely on my health. I know this isn’t something everyone can do. I’m fortunate that I had savings to rely on and I work in a field where consulting is an option. But, even if you can’t quit your job, you can eat right and exercise – I will show you how. And, you can reduce stress, which is important because stress raises your blood sugar.
I went back to Dr. Cox with a plan. I showed her the list of foods I would eat and the specific exercises I’d do every day. She said,
“If you eat only the foods on this list and exercise, you will no longer be diabetic in six months.”
That was music to my ears. So, I got busy. I got rid of everything in the house that was filled with sugar, bad carbs, fat or was enriched or processed. For the first three months, I ate only “leans and greens” – just lean meats and leafy green vegetables. I’m not saying you have to be so extreme. That’s what I chose to do because my fasting sugar was so high and I really wanted to jump-start my system – almost like turning your computer off and then back on again.
I started putting together new recipes and finding new ways to cook with these healthy ingredients. It was hard to give up all the foods I’d eaten for so long. I once once woke myself up in the middle of the night biting at the air because I was dreaming of a fork twirling pasta in a rich, cream sauce. (I woke up my husband laughing at myself.)
I once shouted, “Oh God, NO!” when a waitress approached our table with a basket of bread during our first attempt at eating out since changing my diet. She turned around so fast and ran off – I felt really bad and left her a good tip.
I would often miss entire plot points in movies and tv shows because I was distracted by the food on the table in a scene. Things got weird for a bit there, honestly. And, I can’t begin to tell you how much I missed – and still miss – bread.
But, I wanted to live a long and healthy life so I worked closely with Dr. Cox to stay on track. In fact, she (incredibly) gave me her cell number so I could text her my fasting blood sugar every morning. She’d give me encouragement when the readings were good. And, when the readings were high or the weight wasn’t coming off, she’d patiently explain how my body was healing and adjusting and she’d tell me what I could expect in the coming weeks. She was always right.
By the beginning of March – the sixth month since I changed my diet – my fasting blood sugar was steadily in the pre-diabetic range (105-125). I was also down 23 pounds and still losing weight (not as quickly as my husband was, but it was working.) Then, one day, on March 28th, my reading was 100. And, the next day, and the next, and it even stayed around 98 for a while. I had done it. I was No Longer Diabetic.
Transforming my lifestyle and reversing Type 2 Diabetes was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But if I – a woman in her late 40s who rarely exercised, spent 70+ hours every week sitting in front of a computer eating whatever highly processed, fatty, sugary, fried piece of carb I could find; someone who enjoyed wine and margaritas with friends and family – if that woman can change her life to become a healthier, happier, person who is No Longer Diabetic, then you can too!
Be sure to discuss any changes in your diet or exercise plans with your physician and create the plan that’s right for you.
I hope you enjoy my recipes, blog posts, videos and the soon-to-come podcast. Drop me a line here or in social media and let me know how your journey to a new you is going.