I’ve been thinking…
There has to be a better way! Ingesting increasing amounts of medication while watching my body slowly but surely give in to type 2 diabetes cannot be the only path for me. My wife lost both her parents to this horrible disease so I could not believe my ears when my family doctor sat me down about four years ago. She told me I was considered pre-diabetic because my A1C was at 5.9. She gave me a prescription for metformin, a very popular diabetes medication, to try and lower my blood glucose levels and sent me on my way. This article will take you through my entire journey; From my first exposure to this monster, to how my life changed when I first got the news, through the struggles, and finally How I Reversed My Type 2 Diabetes. Read along, and hopefully, I can help save someone from having to go through all of the hardships I had to before I was able to free myself from this “progressive” disease.
I always thought diabetes was a genetic condition. That it passed from mother to son and from father to daughter. There is no diabetes on either side of my family, so I thought I was somehow immune to it. Turns out, after going through every possible resource I can put my hands on, type 2 diabetes is a dietary disorder. There is actually a ton of information out there and like everything else, you have to use your own discretion but if you look hard enough there are some very definitive patterns that start to emerge.
My diabetes experience begins at around the age of sixteen. We had a priest in our small community that was very involved with the youth who got diagnosed as a diabetic. Back then, it was still a very rare condition and he was a very proactive man, so he immediately started seeing a nutritionist and would monitor his blood glucose very closely. If I remember correctly, he would check it at least 8 times daily and pretty much resolved himself to eating very small portions of chicken, whole grain rice, and steamed veggies. From what he had told me, his mother also had diabetes and so did his grandfather so, for him, it didn’t really come as a surprise.
Up until then, that was really my only exposure. I met my wife in two thousand one. It was a real shock to me because both her parents, as well as her brother, were affected by diabetes. All three were insulin dependent and her father was having some pretty serious foot issues. As our relationship developed, so did my understanding of this “progressive” disease. (or so I thought) I put progressive in quotes because that is what most doctors will tell you. They tell you that you will be on medication for the rest of your life and that your condition will progressively get worse until you eventually start developing all kinds of secondary issues and ultimately die. Now, if you take my wife’s parents, that story turned out to be true but how much of that was actual fact, we will never know. With the information we had at the time, their fate seemed sealed.
Soon thereafter, my second youngest sister started dating a boy around her age. This kid was fit, very active but also very diabetic. He was diagnosed as a child and for the first time, I learned that there was a difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I didn’t know much but from what I could gather, type 1 meant your pancreas did not produce any insulin while type 2 meant you still had some pancreatic function but that it was slowly degrading.
In two thousand nine, we got married! We had recently moved from Ontario to New Brunswick for my work and life was looking up for us. However, my new position involved a lot of road travel so before long I started to gain some weight. Constantly making bad food choices in restaurants and fast food joints create unwanted consequences.
Fast-forward to the summer of 2015. We went to see our family doctor for a routine visit and she gives me the news. That was it. I was now considered pre-diabetic. I think what surprised me the most is that it was as if she had delivered that news a million times before. We left her office with my little prescription for metformin, stopped at the pharmacy to pick it up and went home. At that point, my ego was badly bruised. How could I have let myself reach that point? How could I put Tessa through the same nightmare that took both her parents away from her?
The answer? I couldn’t. I decided that day to change my life and hopefully, I could stave off the bad stuff for as long as possible. Life, on the other hand, had something different in mind. At first, the meds would control my blood glucose quite effectively. So much so that I slowly stopped paying attention to my glucose levels and at my next doctor’s visit, my A1C had gone up to 6.3. Now I was in deep. That level of A1C put me in the type 2 diabetic “box”.
That Christmas, by divine intervention, my mother gave me a book called Man 2.0: Engineering the Alpha. In it, the authors discuss the benefits of Intermittent Fasting. I had nothing to lose at this point so I thought I would give it a try. Boy were they right! I started shedding pounds like crazy. Within a couple of months, I was down 30 pounds and feeling great. There was, however, one problem. I was hungry all the time and had the worst food cravings I had ever experienced in my life. Nevertheless, I mustered on. My blood glucose was under control most of the time and I had tons of new-found energy to get to the gym.
Someone once said that success does not come easy. Apparently, they knew a thing or two about it because, on the evening of May 30th, 2017, all of my progress came to a screeching halt. That night, we were running some errands and, as I was walking across a cross-walk, I was struck by a car. My left knee was badly injured and required reconstructive surgery. For the next several months, I was sitting at home recovering. Unable to walk without crutches. Evidently, this took a serious toll on my diabetes. I fell into a bit of a depression from being trapped in my basement apartment and food was very comforting to me at that time.
My wife, bless her heart, did everything she could to get me out of that funk. She brought my morning coffee out to the deck and helped me up the stairs so I could at least sit outside and see something other than my four living room walls. That, however, was the extent of my physical activity. Before long, I could not get my blood glucose below 15.0. My doctor had already doubled my metformin twice and I was now taking 2000mg a day yet my blood glucose remained in the 15 to 20 range. I was getting really concerned.
As my knee healed up and I started to move around more, I fully expected to see my blood glucose levels to go down but, no such luck. In addition, the metformin was now giving me serious diarrhea so back to the doctor I went determined to find a new solution. I asked her if there was anything I could do to help my situation and her answer was simply, eat less and move more. From experience, the calories in/calories out paradigm does not work. Everyone I know who tried it failed miserably. She also changed my prescription to Jardiance which I started taking the same day.
Life changing moment
A few days later, I was watching a Georges St-Pierre interview on YouTube and he mentioned that he started working with a doctor in Toronto called Dr. Jason Fung. What I heard next set me on the path I am on today and completely changed my life. All GSP said was that Dr. Fung had him on an intermittent fasting regimen and that his workouts had never been better. Instantly, my mind went to work. I looked up Dr. Fung and found out he was the author of a book called The Diabetes Code. Right away, I was on Amazon and bought the ebook. Tessa was getting an operation the next day and as I waited, I devoured the whole thing. I could not believe what I was reading! All the testimonies of people in situations way worse than mine who successfully reversed their diabetes.
Since I was already accustomed to the whole world of intermittent fasting, I knew I could do this but his approach was different. I started to learn everything I could about Dr. Fung’s program and very quickly found out that my wife’s brother was already following it. In fact, it was going so well that he stopped taking most of his diabetes medication along with all of his cholesterol and blood pressure medications. To me, that was proof in the pudding!
Today, I am 50 pounds lighter, I have not taken a single diabetes pill in over two months, my A1C is now 5.3, my blood pressure averages 118/75 and all my biomarkers of diabetes are gone. I live a ketogenic lifestyle, which means that I burn fat instead of glucose, my mind is clearer then it has been in ten years and I am in the best shape of my life.
If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to leave them below.
I would also like to invite you to engage with me on my other website at manbydesign.ca where I cover all kinds of topics related to manhood, living a keto lifestyle and becoming a leader in our homes and communities. Every week, I share a keto friendly recipe, write about great men in history, discuss great books I am reading, and welcome you on my journey to becoming a Masterful Man. From there, you will also be able to link up with me on all of my social media platforms.
Thank you for reading, and hope to see you soon over on manbydesign.ca