Friday, November 13, 2015

I Kissed Carb-Counting Goodbye

If you had told me a year ago, when I was looking at graphs like this, that I would someday soon be able to sleep through the night with steady blood sugars, I would've had a hard time believing you.    
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And while a little over a year may not seem "soon" to you, to me, it's a big deal.  This crazy graph right here was the norm for me for 18 years.  I just didn't know it until I got my Dexcom.  What a world of difference it has made.  Because now my norm is starting to look more like this:
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This was last night.  (Yes, the date is wrong by a day, ignore that.)  That little bit of food I ate at 8am?  A cheese stick, because I felt like eating it and knew it wouldn't affect my blood sugar.  And I only needed 6 units of Levemir to maintain these numbers.
My daily stats look like this:
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Pretty dramatic difference if you ask me.  As many of you know, I was addicted to sugar before this year.  Yup...addicted...hardcore.  My husband always used to tease me about how I liked "a little bit of tea with my sugar."  And it was true.  I grew up thinking I could eat whatever, whenever.  All I had to do was count the carbs and bolus for it.  The only problem was, I didn't always bolus for it.  In fact, most of the time, I didn't.  And when I did, I still fell victim to the awful roller coaster effect...I chased my blood sugars up and down and up and down.  I experienced burnout and extreme depression.  It felt like a never-ending losing battle.  But I kept on.  And it was sad.  I didn't know there were other options.  My doctors never told me there were better ways to do things. 

I also have to admit that part of my thinking included preferring the "real thing" to artificial sweeteners.  I knew that artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, were not good for you, as they are made up of chemicals that are not beneficial to your body.

As it turns out, my nutritionist courses have pointed out that aspartame in our food allows too much calcium into our cells, which basically stimulates our cells to death and destroys neurons.  Many chronic illnesses that have been contributed to by long-term exposure to aspartame and MSG include MS, ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Dementia, and neuroendocrine disorders.

However, the "real thing" isn't much better.  Sugar is addictive, lowers the immune system, feeds cancer cells, feeds yeast overgrowth in the colon, significantly promotes obesity and type 2 diabetes, causes inflammation (direct proponent of diseases such as Alzheimer's), and acidifies the body (promoting osteoporosis).  Not to mention its affect on blood sugars and all the nerve damage and complications that come with that.

The average American consumes 45 teaspoons of sugar a day - that's almost a full CUP of the very substance that not only lacks any type of nutritional benefit but also robs your body of essential vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.

"So how did a sugar addict with crazy roller coaster blood sugars manage to achieve that constant flat line??"

Easy.  I kissed carb-counting goodbye.

"But didn't you experience any kind of withdrawal?  How did you break your addiction?"

I think it started when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease in May 2012.  That cut out all the wheat, rye, barley, and oats from my diet.  However, I was still eating corn, rice, potatoes, and gluten-free grains, which all have pretty high glycemic index values.  It was definitely a process that happened a little at a time as I researched different diets, from gluten-free to paleo to organic to low carb.

If I went through withdrawal, I don't remember how it felt.  I just know that I was super determined to get my health on track, no matter what it took or cost.  After I got my Dexcom and 2015 rolled around, I had pretty much decided to limit my carb intake even more and cut out the gluten-free grains and starches.

Dr. Bernstein's book, Diabetes Solution, helped all the pieces fall into place.  I jumped in head first from that point and haven't looked back...except to reflect on where I was and how far I've come.

I know I've given up a lot of foods - and I mean A LOT - to get to this point, but I also know without a doubt in my heart that I'm on the right path.  I no longer have carb or sugar cravings.

I kissed them all goodbye. 

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