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

 

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