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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Reset and Willpower

All day long, I've been trying to work on something, anything that was either writing something new or editing something older, and I kept getting stuck. NOTHING called out to me! I also had this post writing itself in the back of my head, so I figured that I should just write it down and be done with it, lol!

As you may or may not know, I have spent the last few years researching health. I have read more books... taken several anatomy classes... and implemented what I've learned into my own family so that we all enjoy pretty good health. Most of the time, lol!

Except for me, sigh... I am different in that I have diabetes, which can be a pretty complicated condition to treat. MOSTLY because it is - by definition - an addiction to and inability to properly digest sugar AND most carbohydrates.

Say I wanted to make scrambled eggs, and decided to add just a hint of maple syrup to it - the real kind, not the imitation stuff. Most people could eat the lightly sweetened scrambled eggs with no problems. Their blood sugar might spike for a little while, but then their body would send in the reinforcements and clear the blood so that it returned to normal fairly quickly.

This is an inescapable fact. In EVERY body - healthy or not - eating carbohydrates triggers an insulin response - provided that they eat enough to raise the blood sugar levels. This is the body's way of storing energy for when it needs it. Therefore, even healthy, non-diabetic people can have days when they eat just a bit too much sugar or carbs - maybe they combine the two and eat an enormous piece of cake with a side of pie and top it with ice cream - then afterwards they feel weird.

They'll probably feel good and hyper for the first 20 or so minutes, and then they'll feel a bit out of it. They might get a headache, or they might just feel a bit tired and woozy. Lethargic... Maybe paranoid... In any case, they feel like something is not quite right. It may even seem like something horrible is about to happen. I often feel nauseous at this point.

And then... they crash! Their insulin has kicked in - and because their sugars were so high, they had to have a lot of insulin sent in to clean up the blood. The result is that their blood sugar goes too low, which makes them jittery. Shaky. Ravenous!!! They crave carbs and would do anything - even steal if they literally HAD to - in order to get a candy bar or something.

Sounds a bit like addiction right? Take a drug, feel the high, come down and want more...

The problem with actual diabetics is that this happens almost EVERY time they eat!!! Until they hit the stage I have, which is insulin resistance. My body literally has no more available storage left. SO, when I eat something with carbs in it, and then my blood sugar goes up, my body sends out insulin to clean up my blood, but my body doesn't have anywhere to put it. (I also have an enormous amount of insulin floating around my blood because of this.)

Here's what happens. It's the reason why diabetes ends up such a horrible disease! With no empty storage rooms left to stash the excess blood sugar, the insulin has to get creative. It attacks ANY cell in the body that it can! This can be muscles. Organs. Joints...

Rheumatism? I've read more than one study that suggests that it's caused when insulin attacks the joints. Same with gout - which is actually a phenomenon that occurs when the body gets so bogged down trying to digest carbohydrates that it has trouble digesting proteins. The proteins leave Uric Acid in the blood, and the body can't clean it out, so it settles in the joints, crystallizes, and tears them up. OUCH!

The doctors have two solutions to "manage" diabetes. Number one: Take Metformin. A drug that is designed to make a person's body less resistant to its own insulin. It forces the cells in the body to open up and let the excess sugar into storage. Number two: Shoot up with other insulin.

These work temporarily because they solve the symptom - which is high blood sugar. They DON'T solve the problem! The problem is that the body CAN'T properly digest carbohydrates! (Sugar is just the most potent and easily accessible of the carbohydrates.) The problem is that the body has run out of storage for the glucose that it does digest.

The problem is that the body is addicted to the very thing it can't digest...

The only effective solution is to remove the cause and break the addiction. The body needs to reset...

I am writing this post because THIS is what I need to do! I need to reset my body. I need to break my addiction! And yes, I am able to admit that I am addicted, sigh...

Picture this. On an example day, I eat eggs and bacon for breakfast. I feel good! I eat sliced meats between slices of cheese for lunch - my version of a sandwich. I still feel good. I'm tired because I have a weird sleep schedule, so I have tea with cream in it. It perks me up and I feel great! My blood sugars are hovering around 140, which for me right now is good...

For dinner I have a large salad consisting of romaine lettuce, crumbled bacon, leaks, sunflower seeds, cheese, and red wine and olive oil vinaigrette. My blood sugar may go up or down depending on how my body feels. Half the time it goes up a point or two, and the other half it goes down a point or two when I check it about an hour and a half later.

Then... I start listening to the nagging that has been in the back of my head all day. It tells me that I HAVE to have something crunchy to munch on. I have nuts on hand for this exact reason. They are perfect for the crunchy munchies, BUT they are about 60-80 percent carbohydrates! If I manage to only eat a few, my blood sugar stays fine. BUT my craving for crunchy munchies isn't satisfied with just a few! It WANTS about a cup to a cup and a half. This will raise my blood sugar, but not so horribly that it won't come down.

THEN, add in the fact that I frequently want chocolate and haven't quite been able to train my palate to eat it sugar free. SO, most of the time I can ignore this need for chocolate, then... I can't resist taking just a little... I grab a pinch of tiny, soy-free, dark chocolate chips. Usually about 7 chips. These are half the size of the chocolate chips you are thinking about.

Those 7 or so tiny chocolate chips send my blood sugar through the roof!!! Even worse, it tends to make it hard for my blood sugar numbers to come back down for a couple of days!

This is my biggest problem. Willpower... I mean I do have it, and surprisingly plenty of it. I can stick to a pretty low carb diet with mostly no problems. But I am not perfect, and I do often have trouble with cheating on my diet.

When most people cheat on their diet, it's with something big! Not so me. My cheating tends to be tiny, because I am hoping against hope and praying that a tiny little bit won't hurt, but it does...

The WORST part about it is that I don't have all the other problems and side effects of diabetes at the moment. ALL of my other numbers look just about perfect. Blood pressure. Cholesterol. Everything but my weight. It all looks good and I am not sick very often. If I didn't actually KNOW that I have diabetes, I probably wouldn't even suspect...

What I need is a reset! I need to reset my body back to normal functioning. This is actually easier than most people might think. All it takes... is to deny the body the addiction until it heals.

Ever heard of a religious fast? The basic principle is to purify the body. This actually works because a person on a religious fast basically does not put any new food into the body - but does drink water - for a couple of days until anything that the body needs to finish digesting has been cleared out. It is a very simple detox and purification. It resets the body back to optimal functioning!

I know I need to do this - sort of GAPS style. I know that I need to create a bunch of broth and basically consume NOTHING but broth, water, and possibly tea with cream for as long as it takes to clear all the excess sugar out of my blood. To clear all the excess insulin out of my blood. To clear out ANYTHING that needs to be cleared out!

Both my mom and my aunt - and a good friend of mine - have gone through a gastric bypass. If I could have one, I probably would just because I would HAVE to have this fast - AKA liquid diet. Right after the bypass, the patient - for a month - CANNOT consume anything but liquids. They are allowed to have any kind of liquid they want -clear at first - so long as they drink it in small but frequent doses.

My mom drank iced tea, hot chocolate, and some sort of powdered flavored stuff that is the grown up version of Kool-aid. She tells me that the main reason she lost all that weight was because she was basically forced to go on a fast. BUT it worked!

She lost weight. Her diabetes went away. All the rest of her numbers that they measure health by improved. Same with my aunt. Same with my friend. I know that if I could just find the will power to go through the fast without the surgery, it would work for me too.

I KNOW it would! I could reset my body to better health. If I only had the willpower...

I admit it, I just don't have that kind of willpower! Without the permanence of the surgery, I simply could not go through the fasting process long enough for it to work. I'm afraid to even try! I am too damn stubborn to even try!

Why? Because no one else in my family has to do this. (Except for my mom again... but she won't.) It's already agony when my hubby makes spaghetti that I can't eat. It smells so damn good! I end up eating  a little anyway.

Or potatoes! OMGs!... Potatoes have always been my favorite food. I have tried all the varieties. Even the supposedly "good for diabetics" variety. The problem with potatoes is that they are low in nutrition, high in carbohydrates, and don't have much else to them. BUT they taste SO DAMN good!!! They are addicting! My hubby just LOVES to make sausage and potatoes for breakfast, and it tastes SO DAMN GOOD!!!

I am weak! I literally cannot resist!

I tried. I made 3 baked potatoes the other night. One for my hubby and each of my boys. I ate the pork loin without the baked potato, but then my son gave me the like, mmm... 3 or 4 bites that were left over on his plate so that they wouldn't go to waste.

I lied to myself and told me that 3 or 4 bites wouldn't hurt. 2 hours later, my blood sugar was 223!!! (It was around 160 before that.) I didn't have any symptoms. I didn't have any indication that my blood was abnormally high with sugar. In fact, other than feeling a little sleepy, I felt mostly fine. Had I not tested, I would have assumed that I was right.

Sigh... This post is for anyone who needs to find the courage to heal their body. It is my hope that I can dig deep and find the will power to reset my body with a fast. It is also my hope that others going through the same thing can find their strength of will, and maybe we can all do this together!

Thanks and have a happy day :-D

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