Confessions of an Ideal Protein Coach: Diagnosis

Thanks for your patience with my delay in posting. I've been under the weather for the last 1.5 weeks, as well as recovering momentum after the Holidays. 

I'm very happy to report that my first few weeks on protocol were great!  I got back down to where I'd left off before the Holidays and was feeling good! The "Love Yourself" exercises have been helping tremendously!  Even more surprising than the overall boost in my mood and positive feelings has been the utility of the mantra itself.  Whenever I've felt tempted, or upset (which is usually followed by a desire to eat carbs), beginning the "I Love Myself" mantra is an immediate, effective and enjoyable diversion. I've wanted and needed a way to interrupt the food-thought-death spirals that hijack my mind for a long time.  I've tried everything from taking a bath to journaling to meditating on myself at my goal to calling a friend to… You know the drill.  Nothing has ever worked as well as this!  So that's been a welcome side-benefit to this new practice.

It was all going so well right up to last Thursday night. That's the day I visited my wonderful Naturopath, Dr. Trina Seligman (at Evergreen Integrative Medicine) and received the… (dun dun duuuuhhhhhhh…) DIAGNOSIS! 

It's strange, really. She didn't tell me anything really shocking, but it was different than what I expected. Different enough to throw me. And the diagnosis of my issue wasn't anything really earth-shattering… It's not like I have leukemia or Lupus or anything like that…

I have reactive hypoglycemia.  She drew me a graph that was really eye opening and explained SO MUCH. It's intimately tied to insulin resistance, but instead of my blood sugar going really high, it goes really low. Dangerously low sometimes. And that's where the relentless cravings come from.  But not only that, it doesn't even take real carbs or sugar to trigger it… Artificial sweeteners, or just the TASTE of SWEET does it. This is the mind-blowing part for me, and it has frozen my brain for the last few days as I process the implications…  

I was preparing a whole educational post on Reactive Hypoglycemia to share with you all - complete with color graphs and everything! But I don't have it in me. I'm sort of depressed about this (which is part of reactive hypoglycemia, by the way) and need to focus on a work event for tonight.  I will write more about this in the coming few days but I wanted to at least get this post up to keep my commitment to blogging my entire process. 

I guess the salient point for today is this... Seeing this in black & white catapults me out of any denial I maintained that someday I'd be able to eat like other people... Further, it has me pondering questions like, "Does this mean that I need to avoid even the taste of sweet for the rest of my life?  Does this mean a "joy-free" (as Eleanor puts it) existence when it comes to food?  Does this mean my whole maintenance plan that I've been plotting and looking forward to has to shift radically - and that I have only a drab, sweet-less, mono-flavor life ahead of me unless I want to ruin my body and damage my health?"

I know I'm over-reacting to this.  I know I'll find a place of peace and empowerment about what this will mean for my food future. I will probably even look back someday and think it was a gift to find this out - and realize that somehow it pushed me into new territory that ended up making my life better than before... I know that. But today it just feels sucky.  And frightening. And I don't feel like doing an educational post or acting like I'm upbeat about it because I'm not. Today I just want to feel a little sorry for myself and not put on an "I'm OK" face for anyone else's sake. 

I love myself. I love myself. I love myself.  More than ever I think this practice is going to be critical. Wish me well and please share information and HOPE (if you have any) on this condition.  I'm opening my mind to novel ways of approaching it beyond just cutting out all sweetness from my future.

More later…

--Sherene