I am SO glad that scientists found a link between obesity and insulin resistance because I’ve learned that I struggle with it myself. It wasn’t until recently that I realized it but it’s been totally empowering that I have another reason to make healthy choices.
This past year when I was working with Curves and the Cleveland Clinic creating a lifestyle and behavior program called Curves Complete, we taught coaches about insulin and what too much of it does to your body. We talked about Diabetes in a very general way, which really if you think about it – only the people at risk for it or that have it, pay attention to it. So we tried to simplify it in the curriculum we wrote. But my part in the process was really bringing the real life perspective and the motivational piece to help women make their own changes and so I want to share with you my real life perspective on how it’s affected me.
I’ve got a wonderful doctor at the new Physicians Holistic Health Alliance, Dr. Uthman Cavallo, MD, FACOG, OB/Gyn. We met a few months back and discussed the whole me including my physical and mental health, which I loved. I talked about my food plan and how I pretty much stay away from flour and sugars and eat whole foods because I can get so easily triggered. So he decided to have me do a blood test for my insulin.
So about two weeks ago when I got the call from him about my test results I was surprised, but I also wasn’t. He told me I’m insulin resistant and then I’m just under the mark for being pre-diabetic, not THERE but almost there. That means the hormone in my body called insulin is less effective when lowering blood sugars, which would explain why sugars make me nuts! lol
But the results came as a shock to me because I’m pretty active and eat mostly whole foods. But then I remembered that the gene is in my family. My grandmother had diabetes and so I thought, okay I’m at risk for it. This isn’t something I have to fix within myself (like I used to love to do). This is something that is just in my genes, like my addiction. So he asked me to write up a food journal for two weeks and so I did. Interestingly enough it made me more aware to what felt like it was spiking my blood sugar.
So the doc and I talked earlier this week and he basically said, you’ve got a sensitivity to grains and carbs and suggested that I limit it to minimal that i need so I don’t feel deprived and and try to get it mostly from fruits and vegetables. Even more important – keep my protein UP, I would do a lot better. That is so important because I know that if I were eating a diet of donuts, bagels, and Burger King I would be starving ALL the time. Pasta? Forget about it. Protein is so essential for my diet it’s not even funny – for both my physical and mental wellbeing.
Best part is that he said to me he doesn’t want me doing any Atkins, he just said he wants me to set a cap on refined sugar and grain. He also talked about alcohol and it made me so grateful that i don’t touch it because that could just make the whole thing worse.
Here’s the kicker. If I didn’t already know about the affects of sugar and flour on my body from my experience in treatment, I wouldn’t have probably been so open to what Dr. Cavallo had to share. If I didn’t know that it already makes my cravings go up and how serious that is, I wouldn’t be able to make the link now that my sugars going up affects my insulin levels. I know that I don’t get satisfied when I eat processed stuff. It just makes me get in my head and makes my stomach want more. The mental and physical affects just aren’t worth the aggravation. Doesn’t mean I’m perfect about it, but I know mostly what to steer clear of.
So I can tell you that it made me feel empowered to know that I’m a bit insulin resistant and that there is a way I can eat that takes care of that and I’m already on the road to it. What a gift. So I hope when you are thinking about what you put into your body, you check out your insulin levels, even if you don’t have diabetes but especially if it runs in your family.