Current Progress

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Milestone Accomplished: Goodbye Diabetes!

So, it happened - back in November, my blood test absolutely confirmed that I had slipped deeply from pre-diabetes from years ago to full on diabetes. To me, it was upsetting that I had been given warning years ago that I was teetering on being insulin resistant and now I landed smack in the thick of trouble - having gained back significant weight and adopting a very unhealthy lifestyle. When the doctor told me the news, he then proceeded to tell me to eat less sugar, to eat whole wheat and to cut down on the sugar in the coffee. He then proceeded to tell me..."Well dear, if these rules are too hard to remember...let me prescribe some pills and then you can eat whatever you'd like. You also need to get a machine to prick your finger. Get used to it, diabetes is for life."

The words really struck a chord with me. It wasn't one of grief or sadness that I had a chronic disease. It was of anger at the doctor in front of me. Luckily I've been trying all kinds of diets and reading all about diabetes for the past 4 years....enough to know that without a doubt, diabetes can be reversed with diligent healthy eating, working out and adequate sleep. No it's definitely not easy to change your routine...but it is possible. And here, was a M.D. telling me not to worry, I can keep doing whatever I was doing as long as I took Metformin and monitor my blood sugar everyday. Lucky me, for a brief moment I considered what a great blessing that was, to be able to eat McDonalds everyday with a pill...well I guess until I had heart problems or developed cancer or died early. On second thought...what is behind door #2?

After politely ignoring these prescriptions, I proceeded to improve my life. First is understanding exactly the problem and involving the right people to help me understand the root causes. There were so many things wrong with me cumulatively, I didn't know where to start so I tried out multiple things. I started going to Good Life Fitness classes almost everyday and getting friends to go along. I started understanding myself holistically with the help of my awesome N.D. I started cooking. I started self reflecting and working through all skeletons in my closet. I stopped smoking. I stopped drinking. I started spending time with myself, listening to myself for guidance on what would cure me. I started doing what was important for me. I started living my life.

I was determined that diabetes as a chronic lifetime disease was complete bullsh*t. When I talked to other diabetics on Metformin (while watching them eat big bowls of carbs) they told me, don't be silly and hopeful, diabetes can't be cured - it made my blood boil. And even gave me more determination.

Just sit here and wait til diabetes makes me go blind or lose limbs one day?  No thank you. You know, if the current trends continue, 1 in 3 US adults will have diabetes by 2050 (and exactly the same trend in Canada). A person with diabetes has about twice the risk of dying on any given day as a person of similar age without diabetes. Lovely. Think about that for a second. Let's assume you're the most antisocial person in the world, and you could count on your fingers how many people you knew and cared about. Yes you probably care about at least 2 people...and one of you will have diabetes...for life.

Count me out.

Another lovely doctor kept writing prescriptions for Metformin and called me stupid for being so idealistic. Apparently my body was past the point of normal and that its broken, it needed drugs to regulate the sugar. Nice try.

So okay don't get me wrong, if I was diagnosed later in life where I wasn't able to go to the gym at least 3 times a week and walk and run. Ok sure, maybe some drugs will help as a last resort. But going to the gym classes are fun! And physical activity actually uses some of that energy from all the fat that you're carrying around. Our body wants to survive and has so many built in mechanisms to heal. Why not make use of it? And yes, I'm just talking about Type 2 Diabetes - the resistance to insulin. Not being able to make insulin (Type 1) requires drugs.

Anyway, 3 months later, I took another blood test. Guess what?
My fasting blood sugar is normal. It's not even close to pre-diabetes. Yes, you heard right, I don't have diabetes! 

Thank goodness :) Now the next milestone is staying in the clear for a year. then two, then three. A little stubbornness, listening to your gut...and most importantly following through are keys to success. Having a supportive community around you helps as well.

But I'm not gonna lie, the most important part of reversing health problems is to be completely open and honest with yourself - to dig deep and find the real root problems, truly listen, learn all you can,...then set clear, measurable goals to dig yourself out of the mess and stick to them. Be humble, this means admitting that you really f*ked up and made some bad choices in the past. It's okay, it's not too late to start over. Forgive yourself. I'm a firm believer that if you don't attack and resolve the root problems, those problems will come back and attack your body in multiple any time. My focus has been and continues to be my health and peace of mind. Nothing else really matters. And gosh, the positive reinforcement that the recent blood test has given me is great.

Which chronic disease or terminal illness or virus will I have to fight next? Hopefully they take the hint and forfeit soon. Between my Paleo recipes and new juicer in my kitchen I'm ready to fight for my life.

And genuinely, friends, Thank You for your support!

Update: I found this article which echos my opinions:

Experts hesitate to talk about "curing" diabetes, given the medical complications it can cause that will require lifelong monitoring. But the American Diabetes Association says that maintaining normal blood sugar without medication for at least a year could be considered a "complete remission."

It's not a message you hear very often if your information about type 2 diabetes comes mainly from TV commercials for the devices and medications used to manage the disease. Diabetes is a big business, worth tens of billions of dollars to the health care system and the pharmaceutical companies that hold the patents on those devices and medications.

Another reason you don't hear about remission is it takes a great deal of effort. Even the health care system seems content to prescribe complex lifelong treatment regimens instead of equipping people with the tools they need to effectively manage type 2 diabetes, possibly reverse the disease or, best of all, avoid it completely.
Don't be fooled: Diabetes kills. And maims. This year alone it will kill 3.2 million people worldwide. It's the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. As many as 80 percent of people with diabetes will die from heart attack or stroke. Half will likely experience damage to the nerves in their limbs. Diabetic foot disease, caused by changes in blood vessels and nerves, often leads to ulceration and eventual amputation. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower-limb amputation. Ditto for kidney failure. One of every 50 people with diabetes will become blind within 15 years.
"It starts with nutrition," said Spollett.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I've never been one to care about material possession - I lived out of my suitcase over the past few years. I've always thought I could just survive with the bare essentials. And yes, I did survive...but why just aim to survive? My new aim is to build a strong foundation to be able to make a difference. To be able to help others reach their goals. It's funny, the paradox that I've been grasping, is that in order to help others, you need to help yourself first. So that's what I'm doing right now, helping my physical body get into tip top shape, feeding my mind of challenges and learning new things, and helping my soul build its spirituality and tap into higher consciousness.

I know that when I did Deepak Chopras 21 day abundance meditation in November, I didn't even know what abundance was (nor did I know how to meditate). I thought it was a bad thing - to have more than you need. I am not sure where I learned to associate abundance to selfish hoarding of stuff but thats what I truly thought. Deepak showed me that abundance is to be, do and have a life filled with love, joy. harmony, peace, health and vitality. And I also learned that abundance is not something that ever runs out...that everyone has the opportunity to create their own abundance (from an unlimited source). Abundance isn't a bad thing. It's truly knowing what you need, and getting it. And now when I look back at the past few months and the goals I had set for myself, I'm really living it.

As I look around, a Tchaikovsky symphony is playing on my TV...beautiful pots and pans hang in my kitchen on the new shelf I installed...and my view is of the CN Tower as I type on my thin macbook air. I'm in my pajamas with the heat blasted and smells of my italian wedding quinoa soup I made for the week is fading away replaced with my vanilla scented candles.

In a blink of an eye it seems...just over the past few months that I decided that the best thing to do for myself is to live on my own...I've accumulated stuff and did just that. Thank goodness for my generous friends who gave me furniture and helped me move in and get settled. And thank goodness I've been a pack rat - saving beautiful pictures of my past lives and loved ones and mementos to scatter all around my place.

And you know what, every single item in here I'm truly grateful for. I mean...I think if a hurricane were to come or a thief to take any of this really would suck. But considering that it took me only a few months to move into a home with nothing...I will always remember that starting from scratch again...won't be that bad.

I feel comfortable. Everywhere I look triggers a great memory. I feel motivated here to see the perks of stability and plugging into the abundance bubble that is Toronto. Never have I felt at home and want to spend time at home before.

I feel lucky. And you know what? This time it's well deserved.

I still get nightmares of last year or moments in my life where I was completely lost, not knowing what was in store the next day. How I was going to afford life. What I was going to do to make a living. How to stop sleeping on other people's couches. Not knowing if I was going to bleed to death when I went to sleep. Waking up tired or having crazy migraines. If my health would ever allow me to have a family of my own. If it allowed me to live another day. Who I was going to trust not to steal from me. Survival has some interesting challenges but in general its not a fun game. It's no longer a game I want to play. I know, it's true that life is a game. And you really never know when the game is over, it still could be tomorrow or next week or next year or later. Make every moment count. And fill it with abundance.

And really, whats helped me, is to realize that it is in the world's (aka the universe's) (aka everybody's) benefit for you to be a productive member of society and that you have to be the one who wants to take care of yourself. Everybody and everything around you will do anything in their power to help you get where you need to be, standing on two feet. On most days, it's easy to focus on the bad and selfish things that people do to each other. I dare say that it's part of human nature to want to help someone suffering or struggling. That thought alone makes me smile. Because at the core of it, we do want each other to live in abundance.

Now that I'm living in abundance ... I gotta say its not bad.