17 Down, Less than 100 to go!

CONTINUING TO LOSE WEIGHT!


An image of diabetic testing equipment.
An image of diabetic testing and injection equipment.

This is Day 34 of my journey in  intermittent fasting and I’m down 17.4 pounds and practically off my insulins.  This is the best thing I’ve ever found for my diabetes and my health.  My fibromyalgia pain is almost all gone too.  As for the experience, its been great.  I continue to be surprised with the lack of hunger I feel for most of the time when I’m fasting.  Everyone has been telling me that and I’ve been reading it in my reading about fasting, but it still seems unbelievable for this to be comparatively easy.

Its not that I am not tempted at times, especially when my family is having a great meal and for sure when I am doing the cooking myself.  And I’m finding my major problem that I need to figure how to deal with is how to eat during my eating times.  I know that in order to keep burning fat, I need to eat very ketogenically (very low carb), but I do find that is hard for me to do.  I struggle with my age old problem with overeating.  Actually sometimes I’m glad to get back to the fasting, because it makes me feel more in control.  Don’t get that wrong, I enjoy my eating and look forward to my eating periods, and I’m certainly not in danger of developing a eating disorder.  I seriously want to be able to eat enough to satiate my hunger and to give my body the nutrients it needs, but also to not overeat.  I find overeating to be more likely the longer I fast.  The 24 hour and even the 36 hour fasts do not seem to turn me into an eating machine.  Maybe when I have achieved my goal weight and fixed my pancreas, I’ll be able to maintain with the shorter fasts and handle my eating periods better.

CONTINUOUS WEIGHT LOSS – NOT!!

I’m finding that while I’m losing weight pretty quickly and averaging just over 1/2 pound lost each day, I do often gain a little back during my eating periods and then drop that gain and lose more when I fast again.  I also know that drinking lots of water helps me to continue losing weight. And I found out that drinking a diet root beer contributed to me not losing weight during my last eating period.  So sodas are definitely off the menu for a long time – hopefully forever.
Here’s the daily weight lost from day 6 through this morning.  You can see the days I overate and gained weight then started losing again.
2.0
0.8
1.2
2.4
0.8
1.6
-4.2
2.6
0.8
-3.4
4.6
0.2
1.6
0.6
1.6
1.6
1.0
-2.4
2.6
-2.8
3.6
0.2
0.4

KICKING MY INSULINS

As for getting off my diabetic medications and curing my diabetees, since Day 20, I’ve been mostly off both my long and short term insulins.  Ocassionally I’ve had to dose a few units when I eat too much or to bring my dawn phenomena readings down.  But as I look over my spreadsheet, I see that my blood glucose readings in the mornings when I wake up have been slowly trending downward.  Here are my morning numbers from Day 6 through Day 34 – this morning:
213
207
205
161
143
163
226
178
186
171
159
180
150
158
197
159
198
193
154
237
188
257
152
I’m still taking my metformin in the morning and evening and my one statin drug.  I can’t wait to see my A1C numbers and the results from my metabolic panel next week.  I have lab work done on Tuesday and see my general physician next Friday.  Boy is he going to be surprised.  I should be down over 20 pounds since he last saw me and of course off practically all my insulins.  I’ll be taking new pictures of myself this weekend too.  Every 20 pounds of weight loss, I’m going to snap a few as Dr. Lam suggests to show my progression.  I’ll post a before pic and then an after 20 pound loss one for my next post.  (much as I hate pics of myself – I’ll do it).

STAYING MOTIVATED?

A motivating image of climbers
A motivating image of climbers

I’m finding that I’m staying pretty motivated to continue you till I reach my 3 goals.

  1. Get off my diabetic medications and cure my diabetes.
  2. Lose down to a normal weight of around 145 pounds.
  3. Get up out of this wheelchair and walk.

Doc Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam) is very supportive and says a lot of encouraging words and that helps.  My daughter who has been visiting has been very encouraging also.  My husband I believe is finally coming around and starting to approve also.  He still has moments he indicates he doesn’t want me to hurt myself doing this, but I keep telling him what I’ve been reading and I’m going to make a believer out of him.  I like to read the testimonials by those who have changed their lives for he better via intermittent fasting.  Here’s a few links if you want to read a few great stories.

Here’s a link to an article I read about researchers seeking FDA’s approval for IF treatment of cancer patients.  It caught my eye since I worked for FDA for 33 years.

I also came across this blog which is a good example of what NOT TO DO.  Check it out and decide right now not to fall in the trap this young lady did.  Remember, when eating, eat healthy to feed your body what it needs to be healthy.  Then you will feel great AND look great.

COMMENTS

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I will be sending out a monthly newsletter starting in January 2017.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.

– Shirley

My Fasting Ups and Downs

Each Day Has its Own Ups and Downs


I continue my journey with IF (intermittent fasting) to cure my diabetes and to lose weight.  Today is Day 22.  I’ve had such awesome success these 3 weeks of fasting for my health.  I have lost just under 15 pounds, reduced my insulins from 182 to 10 maybe (even one day with 0 insulin), and lost 6.7 inches off my body.  I’m averaging a little over .5 pound of weight loss each day.  Until yesterday, Its been pretty much all progress, but yesterday I had to use a little of my insulins because my bgl (blood glucose level) went up and I didn’t lose weight at all – I gained 2.5 pounds.  I was certainly disappointed with that.  (I blame my overeating the day before for this).  However, overall I’m very pleased with my progress.  I feel good, my pain level is much reduced and its getting easier to get up out of my wheelchair and even walk a little with my cane.  My hunger level has been pretty tolerable during my fasts.  I have hardly any problem with 24-36 hour fasts; but I am finding that during the 72 hour fasts, I do have more hunger and have to push myself to continue fasting.  Also, if I eat too much on my eating days I have some tummy issues afterwards.  When I eat smart and not too much, I do great.

 

My Eating Days

On the days that I eat, I’m finding that breaking my fast with something like cottage cheese is helpful; also broth works fine for me.  Then I can eat some meat or fish and vegetables.  I try hard to hold breads and sugars.  My body still reacts to sugar consumption with my bgl’s rising quickly. So the less sugar containing foods I eat, the better.  I tend to eat the dinner meal on my eating days rather than breakfast or lunch.  I find that eating dinner is part of my social life and I enjoy it more than lunch or even breakfast.  Eating dinner on my eating days allows me to feel not so deprived because of my fasting.  I have been able to go to the indoor pool a couple of times, which is nice, because the exercise will bring my normal morning highs (dawn phenomenon) down quite a few points.  Hopefully I can continue this 2 or 3 times each week.  That’s pretty much all the exercise I can get in my wheelchair.  I do try to do stretches and crunches and a few other exercises I can do laying down or in my chair – but all are pretty mild as exercise goes

Victory Over Temptations

Some of the things I find that are temptations to me are:

  • Am image of Asian appetizers
    Am image of Asian appetizers

    Cooking for my husband who is NOT fasting.  I tend to feel hunger when I fix his meals and especially if I stir or scrape food from a pot or bowl, I have to watch myself to keep from licking the spoon – lol.

  • Slow cooker cooking.  I notice that when I cook in my crockpot, which I love to do, the smell is extremely tempting and the house is filled with delicious smells for hours.
  • Going out and sitting at a table with just glasses of water/tea or a cup of coffee while others at the table eat their meal.  I have managed to do this when visiting my mother-in-law at her nursing home, but it was difficult.
  • Ignoring real food.  Cookies or candy are not as tempting to me as “real” food like chicken or beef or even bacon and eggs.
  • When Mel and I do go out to dinner on my eating days, I’m finding it hard not to want to order an appetizer.  I’m learning that many appetizers are not good candidates for low carb style eating because of the breading or sauces with carbs and sugar.

Spreading the Word

I am so happy with the results I’ve been getting from this eating style, I want to tell everyone about it.  Especially when I see another woman who is overweight or I know struggles with diabetes also; I want to grab them and extol the benefits of IF.  I keep reading more and more articles about intermittent fasting and how it has helped many people with their health issues and weight loss.  I love to read fasters’ testimonials – I understand how they feel when there is something great to share about their health.  I’m finding that I’m already beginning to feel like a new person.  For so many years now, I’ve not worried very much about my appearance – mostly doing what is the most comfortable for me.  I find myself looking forward to the day I need to purchase clothes in smaller sizes and especially wear clothing that isn’t black and actually has some pattern in it.  I’ve gotten used to avoiding lighter colors and busy patterns because they are not slimming.  I’m also looking forward to the potential of being able to get out of the wheelchair and walk on my own again.  I don’t know that this will happen, but I’m certainly hoping that

when I lose sufficient weight, less stress on the discs in my low back will allow me to walk again.  Talk about a dream come true.

An image of dollar signs
An image of dollar signs

Another positive for me is the fact that I’m using so much less medication.  I’ve been injecting two different insulins for years now and none of them are cheap.  At one point, I was spending between $500-$600 every six weeks on my insulins and that was my share after my insurance paid their part.  I can think of several nice things that I could do with the thousands saved each year.  Think “Hawaiian Cruise” or “new living room furniture”, or “art lessons”, etc.  And just the fact I’m injecting insulins less is exciting – no one loves needles!

A Long Way to Go

I keep telling myself that I still have a long way to go to know I will not need any insulins at all again, and to lose the over 100 pounds I still need to lose.  However, just knowing that both those dreams are a part of my future reality is inspiring me to continue on.  It will take months for me to reach my goals and then to figure out how to maintain the “new me” without backsliding.  I will continuing blogging my progress regularly and for those of you who are considering the IF lifestyle, I’ll be glad to share my ups and downs and what I’m learning along the way.

 

Thanks

I want to thank the members of the Wefast Intermittent Fasting Community on Facebook who have encouraged me and shared their own journeys and especially Dr. Manuel Lam (Doc Manny) who is helping me so much on my journey.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I will be sending out a monthly newsletter starting in January 2017.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.

– Shirley

My Cure is in Sight!

My Intermittent Fasting is Definitely Working


I just finished fixing my husband a brunch of bacon, eggs and toast.  And all the time I did not crave food.  I’ve been fasting now for over 42 hours and I did not get hungry while cooking his meal.  Overall, this is the easiest “diet” I haven undertaken to date (and I’ve tried many).

An image of a scale with tape measure.
An image of a scale with tape measure.

I’m on Day 19 of my journey with Intermittent Fasting (IF) to cure my diabetes and lose weight.  I began this journey on December 11th after reading Dr. Jason Fung’s book “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting”.

I managed to make it through the holidays well and its working.  I started out weighing 260 pounds and this morning I weighed 246.8 pounds.  13 pounds in 19 days.  I’ve averaged a loss of .6842 a day (a little more than a half a pound per day).

How Can I Do This?

I must say that without some support, I’m not sure I could have done it.  But fortunately for me, about 4 days in, a doc in one of the Facebook Intermittent Fasting Groups took me under his wing and began helping me.  Doc Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam) has been wonderful and invaluable in this journey.

I’ve done several fasts of varying lengths:  As follows they are:

20.8 hours
23 hour
42 hours
44 hours
46 hours
22.5 hours
49.5 hours
42 hours
72 hours (which I am in the middle of now.

That’s almost 362 hours of intentional fasting.

Since I’m a Type 2 diabetic, I had lots of questions about how to reduce my insulins during this time.  I was previously taking about 182 units of insulins per day (including both my short and long term insulins).  I did not want to experience any lows and have to eat something during my fasting periods and thankfully Doc Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam)  has been giving me awesome advice about how much to take.  I had one low of 65 before he started helping me, but since then I’ve had no lows at all.  Yesterday, my total insulin used was only 10 units of my long acting Lantus last night.

I haven’t had to deal a lot with hunger during my fasting times.  Whenever I start to crave eating, I drink some no carb organic broth or eat a spoonful of coconut oil.  That seems to work well in keeping me going on my fasting period. Otherwisde, during my fasting periods, I drink coffee, tea and water only.

My fasting schedule right now is fast on Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday and eat on Saturday-Sunday and Wednesday.  On my eating periods, I’m usually only eating one meal (dinner) but occasionally two meals.  I’m trying to keep my calories during my eating times to <1000.   That’s a pretty low number but I’m treating this like Dr. Fung said, basically its like I’m undergoing bariatric surgery without the surgery. Once I’ve lost the weight and am off all my diabetic meds, I hope to maintain with only 2 fasts of 20 hours each week, eating Paleo style when I’m not fasting.  Of course, I’ll have to see if that works when the time comes.

Right now, during my eating periods, I’m sticking to a paleo/whole food eating style.  Low on carbs, high good fats and medium proteins.  I think that helps with my hunger during my fasting periods.  I’ve found that if I eat a normal diet with too much sugar I don’t’ feel well at all that night and I experience more hunger during the next fast.

Exercise?

An image of women doing water aerobics
An image of women doing water aerobics

For 18 days, I did not exercise at all and I’m pretty sedentary, in my wheelchair all day.  Yesterday, I began doing some water exercise,and I plan on doing that at least 3 days a week from now on.  My BGL (blood glucose level) was 193 before I went to the pool and after my exercise of two hours, it dropped 40 points.

I have always had high morning levels (the dawn phenomena).  You can read about that here.  I’m finding that so far, my morning BGL readings are still higher, but overall they are coming down, even in the morning testing.  My meter is showing an average of 164.  Before I began IF, the average was well over 200 (my diabetes was not very well controlled).

Continuing

I’m so happy with the results I’ve had so far, that I intend to keep on until I reach my three goals:

  1. Getting off all my diabetic meds
  2. Losing 125 pounds (I would weigh 145 at that point)
  3. Getting out of this wheelchair if possible

I’m already achieving significant loss of pain (from my fibromyalgia and hip).  Time will tell and I’m praying my will-power and determination will stay the course.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I will be sending out a monthly newsletter staring in January 2017.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.

– Shirley

 

Success With Intermittent Fasting

Success at Last!


An image showing weight loss and thinner waistline
An image showing weight loss and thinner waistline

I’m continuing on my journey with intermittent fasting (IF).  Since I started this journey on December 11th, I have lost almost 10 pounds (from 160 to 150.8). I’m also noticing that my tummy is becoming a little flatter (so nice!).   But the best result is that my insulin requirements have dropped dramatically.  From taking my former regiment of:

Lantus 1/x 70 units
Novalog 30/42/40 (breakfast/lunch/dinner)

Total Insulin = 182 units

I’m now taking between 20-50 units total each day. I modify my amounts depending on the number of meals I expect to eat the next day and my blood glucose levels when I test. At this point if my bgl is >180 I’m taking 5 Novalog units.  As for my long term Lantus, each evening I take 30 units w/2 meals next day; 25 w/1 meal next day; 20 w/no meals next day.  I’m really not doing days with 3 meals at the present time.  Its very easy for me to do just the 2 meals a day and surprisingly enough, having only 1 meal a day is pretty easy in itself.

A graph image of my insulin usage.
A graph image of my insulin usage since December 16th.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is so amazing that I have decreased my insulin injections so much in just 15 days.

Getting Support During Fasting

I’m finding that having support during my fasting is truly motivating and helping me a lot.  I’ve been reading lots of posts in several different Facebook fasting groups and the assistance I’m receiving from Dr. Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam) on the Wefast FaceBook group is totally amazing.  He is monitoring my bgl levels and insulins very carefully and encouraging me to continue.

Its so nice to have encouragement and not criticism.  I’ve found that over the years and my many attempts at losing weight (all fails), my husband has become very much a skeptic.  I do get encouragement from my sisters and my daughter; although they too have questions about the fasting and is it “healthy”.

I have a long way to go before my body becomes a true “fat burning machine” and this 100 extra pounds goes away, but right now I’m pretty pumped about the results I’ve had so far and I’m going to continue on.

Dr. Jason Fung’s book which started me on my “journey to a cure” is:

The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended Fasting

While I have not experienced a lot of really hungry moments, I have had some temptation moments and periods when I feel not so great.  During those times of temptation, I’m making sure I drink more water, tea or coffee.  I’m increasing my water consumption and I notice the pounds are coming off faster as I do that.  Whenever I’m feeling slightly queasy or hungry, I’m eating a spoonful of coconut oil or occasionally drinking a cup of bone or organic broth.  I’ve always felt better after I do that and can continue with my fast.

So far, I’ve only had one bad experience.  I broke my first 46 hour fast by eating 3 meals the next day totaling over 1800 calories.  That was too much and I was sick at my tummy that evening. Since then, I’ve been eating more modestly after breaking a fasting period and I’ve felt fine.

Overall, I must say that my energy level has increased and I feel better each day.  I’m also finding it easier to get up from my chair or my bed.

Recordkeeping My Journey

I’m doing some recordkeeping of this journey, including this blogsite to record my experience/success with IF.  I have set up a spreadsheet on a google drive and record my bgl testing (up to 5 times a day – waking/breakfast/lunch/dinner/bedtime).  Also weighing each morning and recording my weight,  In addition, I record my hunger level at each testing time (on a scale from 0-10), my insulin amounts and my calorie consumption each day (I use myfitnesspal.com to determine this). Dr. Manny has added his own sheet to mine and created the cool graphs.

When I consider I’ve been able to do this over a holiday period, I’m very much surprised and happy.  Its going to take months for me to get where I want to be, but I now know its possible and one day I may have to change the name of this website from “Growing Old With Diabetes” to “Growing Old after Diabetes”….Ha, Ha!

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley

Continuing My Cure!

Beginning My Journey of IF (Intermittent Fasting)


An image of candy in a bowl
An image of candy in a bowl

I began this journey on Sunday, December 11, 2017.  A couple of weeks before that I had one of my few bouts with depression when it hit me that my daughter and her family, including my two precious and adorable grandsons, had only six more weeks until they moved out of the US to Papua New Guinea as Wycliffe Bible Translators.  It will be over two years before I see them in person again.  That was so depressing that I did what I usually do for comfort – eat!  I ate half a bag of MM’s which tasted great and made me feel better until I tested my BGLs (blood glucose levels).  It was into the 500’s which was a wake up call.  I immediately got online and read about high blood sugars (hyperglycemia) and it really scared me.

I was so mad at myself that I would do this.  I realized if I didn’t get my blood glucose levels under control, I may not be here when they do get back in two years.  I made up my mind right then that I would change and do something about this – get my sugars under control and also my weight.  Even thought I had been eating much better during 2016 and had lost 30 pounds, I had gained 6 back and I was still morbidly obese – my BMI was over 40 and I was stuck in a wheelchair because of my weight, back pain and deconditioned body.

Luckily my blood pressure was okay, and my heart was ok as far as I and my cardiologist knew.  I wanted to keep losing weight, along with getting my blood glucose levels under tight control.  My daughter had never knew me thin and in shape (I became overweight during my pregnancy).  I want to be thin and healthier and hopefully out of this wheelchair when my kids return on furlough in two years.

I determined to be more strict with my diet and start my water aerobics again in 2017 since I have access to an indoor pool year round.  I began to research and read more about controlling diabetes and losing weight.  Then I ran across an article on Dr. Jason Fung and his book “The Complete Guide to Fasting: Heal Your Body Through Intermittent, Alternate-Day, and Extended”.  I downloaded the book to my iPad and read it.  He described helping his patients actually cure their diabetes through intermittent fasting (IF).  Many had lost weight and got off all of their medications in a few months.  I was definitely intrigued by this and his research.  He described his experience with intermittent fasting and that of some of his patients.  He also compared IF to bariatric surgery.

My previous diabetes doc had encouraged me to consider bariatric surgery; however I have a bone marrow problem in which I produce too many platelets and abnormal ones at that.  This make me a clotting and stroke risk.  I had actually had a stroke after a previous elective surgery to repair a large hernia, and while I was fortunate that I did not have a lot of lasting damage, I had decided to not plan on having any more elective surgeries.

So when Dr. Fung said this about fasting:

“If you do not feel well for any reason, you simply stop fasting.  It is entirely reversible within minutes.  If you wish to stop fasting for several weeks for personal or medical reasons, then you may do so. If you want to indulge during the Christmas holidays or during a summer cruise, you can do that as well.  Simply get back on the program once you are finished. 
Compare this to bariatric surgery (sometimes called “stomach stapling”).  It has helped many people lose a lot of weight, at least in the short term.  But this surgery has tons of complications, almost all of which are irreversible.  And you cannot simple reverse the surgery itself.  It’s permanent.  if you are doing poorly, that’s simply too bad.  Fasting, on the other hand is completely within your control; you may fast or stop fasting anytime you wish.”

So fasting is basically like bariatric surgery
without the surgery!

I have had friends to have bariatric surgery and they had some serious complications requiring additional surgeries.  I definitely did not want to chance this.

After reading Dr. Fung’s book, I did more research on intermittent fasting, finding lots of resources and downloaded and read another book on IF.

“Intermittent Fasting – Yes to Carvings! Lose Weight, Gain Muscles & Get Lean the Easy and Enjoyable Way”

An image with graphic text Facebook
An image with graphic text Facebook

Then I looked into support groups on FaceBook and found the “Wefast Intermittent Fasting Community “which is a closed group, but I asked to join and was quickly allowed to join the group.  I read the various discussions and began to learn more about IF and then began asking some questions myself.  Everyone was very helpful and of course knew much more than I did about fasting.

I started my version of IF on a Sunday and tried some fasts of 12-18 hours and lo and behold I realized I could do this and not be ravenous during the fasting period.  I would fast from dinner to lunch the next day with no problem.  I continued to read more about IF and ask additional questions.

I especially had questions about how much of my insulins, both short and long acting, I needed to take.  I would talk with my regular physician about this but I don’t see him until January 13, 2017.  One of the members of the fasting community was a doctor himself and he began to take me under his wing and suggest what I should do about my medications.  Doc Manny (Dr. Manuel Lam)  even made up a schedule of fast/non-fasting days for me to follow.  Dr. Lam has become my FaceBook friend and is helping me with lots of my questions about what to eat and how to keep my blood glucose levels from dropping too low.  I’m so thankful to have his help.

My BGLs stayed pretty high at the beginning, but now they are coming down except for my usual morning highs.  I even broke a fast yesterday for my sister’s and I to have our annual “holiday sister’s luncheon”.  We traveled to a great restaurant at a vineyard (Wiederkehr’s Weinkeller Restaurant) and had a wonderful meal together.  Then I went back to fasting.  I must admit last evening I did have a couple of moments of slight cravings, but I drank some bone broth and ate a spoonful of coconut oil twice and I’m back to no hunger today.  I will fast today and tomorrow be back to eating low carb, whole food.

Today is day 11 of my IF journey and I’ve had several fasts and am moving to alternate day fasting.  I weighed 260 on December 11 and today I weigh 252.8., that’s 7.2 pounds.  I’m excited about this and encouraged to keep this up.  I still have a long way to go, but now there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.

– Shirley