It's been roughly a year since I took charge of my health by making two major changes to my eating habits:
- When I eat, which is typically only once a day. Some days, I will not eat at all. Other days, I may eat twice a day. It depends on where I am in the world, what's going on, and so on.
- What I eat, which is mostly low in carbohydrates, high in fat. You might call it a ketogenic diet, or even the induction phase of Atkins (the 1970s version). I had previously done Atkins in the early 2000s with some success, so this part of the change was somewhat familiar.
This was done gradually over the course of several weeks. During fasting times, I will drink black coffee or tea, which I initially had with heavy cream, but I cut that out except during mealtimes. I will also occasionally have chicken broth for the electrolytes.
The main reasons for doing this are summarized in Dr. Jason Fung's recent book called The Diabetes Code. His previous book, The Obesity Code, was what got me to try it at least. Given fasting costs nothing and everything else I was doing wasn't working to control my diabetes, much less my weight, why not?
A year in, I'd say it's been successful. My stats from May 2017:
- Weight: 311 pounds or 141 kilos, which is about 15 pounds below my high water mark from 2016
- Blood Glucose (30-day average): 137 mg/dL or 8 mmol/L
- A1C (based on a blood test): 7.1 (highest was 7.9%)
- Waist: 54 inches or 137 centimeters (about 2 inches lower than my largest)
As of May 2018, here's where I'm at:
- Weight: 230 pounds or 104kg
- Blood Glucose (30-day average): 105 mg/dL or 5.8 mmol/L
- A1C: 5.6%
- Waist: 39 inches or 99 centimeters
The more important bit of this: My A1C is in the normal range. Granted, I am still taking Metformin, but that means I no longer fit the diagnostic criteria for even pre-diabetes! However, there has been no change in my medications. My doctor wants me to continue taking Metformin until my A1C drops to at least 5.0%. My blood pressure, while definitely a lot better than it was a few years ago, is still mildly elevated.
When I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I was also diagnosed with onset sleep apnea. The good news is, from the sleep study I did a few weeks ago, it looks like my apnea has improved: from 8 events an hour to 6. I do, however, still meet the diagnostic criteria. That said, given all the other changes that have taken place, and the relative mildness of my condition, my pulmonologist and I agreed that I should try sleeping without my CPAP for a few weeks, monitoring my blood pressure and symptoms along the way to ensure I don't develop any issues. That's progress!
The one frustrating bit is my weight has been more or less the same for the last few months, plus or minus a few pounds. That said, given the amount of travel I've been doing lately, keeping my weight fairly steady is a positive achievement in and of itself.
Despite the stall, I am slowly but surely shrinking around my middle and other parts of my body. Even if the scale isn't moving, progress is still being made.