I recently found out that my dad has Type 2 Diabetes. My father and I haven’t talked for years, so I honestly don’t know when got the diagnosis. Apparently his sister also has “pre-diabetes”. This isn’t really surprising because I have suspected that I was insulin resistant for a long time. About 8 years ago my doctor suggested I cut out refined carbohydrates when I complained of a fluttery feeling in my chest. He said I was probably hypoglycemic and I needed to stabilize my blood sugar. I decided to go on Atkins with a couple of the girls in my office, which at the time was very popular for some reason. I actually did really well on it and lost a ton of weight and felt really good for the first time in a long time.
At first it was difficult to give up the comfort foods. Bread and potatoes weren’t as hard to live without as pasta and rice. Sweets are hard for me to be around, but if they aren’t in the house I find I don’t miss them much. The downfall was that as I began to look and feel better I gave myself permission to cheat. You absolutely cannot cheat on that kind of diet. One slice of pizza quickly turned into spaghetti dinner and before I knew it I was eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. The weight came flying back on again and then some.
Instead of blaming myself, I blamed the diet itself. So I went on a “low fat” diet. Instead of losing weight I think I actually gained at that time. Around that same time I became depressed and decided to move out of Denver and move back to New Jersey to be closer to my family. This meant staying at my mom’s house until I could get a good job and get a place of my own. After being back for a few months I met the man who would be my husband. Hubby was also living with his family while he was saving money to get his own place, so for us to be alone together we had to go out. Neither one of us are big drinkers and he doesn’t like to dance, so we went out to eat a LOT. I was happy and in love and he was so accepting of who I was that I didn’t feel compelled to watch what I was eating as much.
When we moved in together, I tried real hard to make healthy meals for the two of us. Then when we got engaged I cut way back on the calories so I wouldn’t be HUGE on my wedding day. After we were married I got pregnant right away. I tried to be as healthy as possible, but my hormones were out of balance, I wasn’t making enough progesterone, and I miscarried at 10 weeks. I became depressed and turned to high carb comfort foods. I felt like the only thing that would make the emptiness go away was if I had a baby, so after a couple of months we began trying again. About 4 months after losing the baby I became pregnant. Early blood tests showed that I had the same problem again, I wasn’t making enough progesterone. This time, my OB decided to try supplementing my progesterone and prescribed me Prometrium capsules twice a day.
I was able to get through the first 12 weeks, but gained a lot of weight during the first trimester because of the hormones. My blood sugar tested abnormally borderline, so they did not diagnose me with gestational diabetes, but said I needed to really watch it. I was dumb and took my pregnancy as an excuse to indulge in all the foods I usually denied myself. If I craved it- I ate it. And I usually ate lots of it too! Over all I gained 65 pounds during my pregnancy. Then for some reason the baby wasn’t coming. I went 2 weeks late and finally they tried to induce me, but the baby’s heart rate dropped so I had an emergency C-section. Again my doctor said it was because my body wasn’t producing the right hormones.
I recently was doing some research online, looking for a low carb plan that wasn’t quite as restrictive as Atkins was, and found out that Insulin resistance can lead to progesterone deficiency as well as all sorts of other hormonal imbalances. This was like a slap in the face. I knew that my dietary choices were affecting my waistline. Now I see that they also caused me to lose one baby and almost lose my son.
Since I’ve become a mother, my outlook is changing. I want my boy to be proud of his mother. I want to be there for him as he grows into a man. I don’t want to be sick and unhealthy. I don’t want him to miss out on things because I can’t find the energy to do them with him. Insulin resistance is reversible. So I am making the decision right here and now to change my lifestyle. I’m eating low glycemic foods and I will make an effort to start exercising.
It’s going to be hard, but I have good motivation this time around. I don’t just want to do it, I HAVE to do it.