Trying it on for size…

What is this blog about? I’m not sure yet. At this point, it is starting as a tool for me to monitor my personal journey with intermittent fasting or IF. I want to be able to look back over time, to see if IF is helping or harming my quality of life. I have been frustrated by the lack of personal antecdotes from others, so I figured I’d share my journey.

Some background…I am 51 years old, female, a registered nurse, married with grown children. I have PCOS, and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in April 2007. This diagnosis came in spite of me eating lower carb for the past decade. Perhaps the diagnosis came later than it would have, had I continued with the low fat/high complex carb diet my doctor recommended.

I do not take any medications for my diabetes at this point. My A1c started at 7.1 in April 2007. After three months of great struggle to control my blood sugar, my A1c was 5.8 in July 2007. I feel constantly deprived trying to keep my blood sugar below 120 though. In order to get my blood sugar to stay under 110, I have to severely limit my food intake.

Although I have eaten lower carb since 1997, the truth is that I love carbs! My net carb intake over the years is certainly lower than pre-1997, but it has not been unusual for me to break my low carb trend with carbfests. I don’t know if those carbfests are what pushed my poor pancreas over the edge to diabetes, or if I was destined to end up with this diagnosis eventually.

Denial can be a wonderful world to live in. Before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I would rationalize that because I spent most of the week watching my carbs, the carbfest I might have for a day or two didn’t count. Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? Once I started testing my blood sugar though, my eyes were opened to what I was doing to my body. When I choose to eat carbohydrates, the effect on my blood sugar lasts a few days, not a few hours. My poor little pancreas is pooped and can’t recuperate from those sugar blasts very quickly.

I feel better when I choose to eat very few carbs. I think more clearly. I don’t have heartburn. I don’t feel bloated. The difference is so remarkable, it makes me wonder why I ever go for the sugars and starches. Immediate gratification I suppose.

So, on to “intermittent fasting” or IF. I had never considered trying IF until I read about it in Dr. Michael R. Eades blog on 8/13/2007. After reading his blog, including the references he makes to past blog entries (this one and this other one), I did some more of my own research.

A few things I read while researching stood out and caught my attention.

  • C-reactive protein (a blood test which measures inflammation) drops significantly with intermittent fasting
  • Insulin sensitivity improves with intermittent fasting
  • Intermittent fasting does not slow the metabolism down

I don’t generally go for fads. I don’t believe everything I read. Hence, I am approaching IF with caution, awareness, and a bit of skepticism.

Most of the research I did was about IF in general, not IF for diabetics. Since I don’t take medication for my diabetes, I won’t have to worry about timing of medications.

So…let the journey begin. As a kick-off, I ate a high carb meal and snacks till 10:00 p.m. tonight, and I feel like crap! My blood sugar is 233. Great start!

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2 Responses to “Trying it on for size…”

  1. Mary Titus Says:

    Hello, I have been doing my version of IF where I fast for 20 hours and eat during a 4 hour windo. In this window, I normally eat 2 meals. I have lost a little weight, but more importantly I have had more pleasant cycles. Plus, that big fat gut that i used to have at night is gone. My tummy doesn’t expand so much anymore. Everything that I have experienced has demonstrated the benefits of fasting. This is something that I would have shunned 5 months ago. I think that the “experts” who push eating 3-6 meals a day are causing obesity, diabetes and other related diseases. When I fast, it is completely low carb. I am not diabetic but I displayed hypoglycemic symptoms before I became a low carb dieter, 4 years ago. Diabetes does run in my family and I do expect that one day, I too, will become diabetic but not without a fight. I think that IF is one more weapon against diabetes.

  2. ifblogger Says:

    Thank you for your feedback Mary! How long have you been doing IF? Do you do the 20 hour fast every day? How do you handle social situations where food is served?

    Wouldn’t it be nice if there was reliable “expert” information out there for us to learn from? It is a challenge figuring out what to believe, what to take with a grain of salt, and what to flat out discard as drug company funded propaganda!

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