I’ve battled weight my entire life. Genetically, I’m predisposed to Type II or Adult Onset Diabetes. My body produces too much insulin, known as hyperinsulinism, and also has grown resistant to insulin as it attempts to convert glucose into energy, known as insulin resistance. The results of these two conditions are a constant craving for something sweet or starchy to eat and the conversion of glucose into fat for storage. It’s a difficult combination, and sometimes, the sugar cravings get so intense that I give in and binge for two or three days. Then, I feel terrible for a week or two. I don’t mean I feel guilty, although there is some of that. No, I mean I physically feel as if I’m dying after a bad binge.
When I eat properly — and that’s properly according to what works for my metabolism — I feel great. My energy levels are tremendous, I don’t get afternoon “brain-fog,” and the cravings dissipate. I can go for weeks without having any sugars or starches. During these periods, I lose weight and feel somewhat good about myself. Then, inevitably, something happens to trigger a strong craving. Maybe I have an especially bad day at work, or maybe I’m just missing my sons a little more than usual. I turn to food for comfort, and the thought is always the same, “I’ve been doing really well. Eating sugar tonight won’t hurt.” Two days later, I’ve undermined all of the progress I’ve made the previous six or eight weeks.
My friends and colleagues don’t help, either. I’m certain they mean well, but every single day, someone offers me something I shouldn’t eat. I’ll politely decline, and they’ll say something like, “Oh, that’s right. You’re diabetic.” Then, the next day, they offer me something else almost identical. They mean well, but when I’m already craving something, it’s difficult to then have it waved in front of me.
Luckily for me, I carry my weight fairly well, and few people believe that I need to lose as much weight as I do. I won’t publish the number here, but trust me, it’s a daunting figure. I’m working a little each day towards my goal, but anyone who has needed to lose weight knows how hard it is. At this point in my life, I don’t care so much about how I look. I’m far beyond ever being mistaken for a model, but I want to get healthy while I still am in pretty good health, if that makes any sense. My heart is still in fairly good shape, but if I don’t get down to my goal weight soon, I know that serious issues will begin to surface.
On that note, it’s time for my afternoon walk.