So, I keep sitting down to write this next installment and finding myself unsure of what to report. I'm voraciously reading whatever I can find in books, blogs, medical journals and articles to gather information on my condition, and more importantly, what to do about it.
I am very hopeful about a book I *just* picked up called SUGAR SHOCK! The authors include a woman who found herself suffering from pretty much exactly what I'm going through (without the soy intolerance), and a sympathetic and knowledgeable physician. As I progress through the book, I'm seeing myself in the pages. The entire book is geared toward those with Reactive Hypoglycemia in varying degrees and levels of sensitivity. Prevailing advice centers around reducing or eliminating carbs, and if you have carbs, choosing them carefully from the low glycemic category. I haven't quite reached the chapters that deal with folks who are as sensitive as I am (where the taste or thought of sweet can cause an insulin reaction), but they keep assuring me that I'm not alone, and they have a subset of recommendations for us, too! I have a feeling I know what it will be -- eat a Sweet-Free diet. :( I keep hoping one of these pages is going to magically give me permission to have sweets - somehow - if I do it a certain way… or if I wait long enough before I try it. Who knows… Maybe they will say that. I'm not there yet, so I don't know. But I'm not holding my breath, either.
Meanwhile, here's what's happening in my day-to-day attempts to go Sweet-Free.
Shortly after I wrote my last post (which was admittedly dark and forlorn), I turned a HUGE corner. I suddenly started feeling WAAAAY better. I felt peaceful and content with no sweet tastes. I noticed a distinct difference in my energy levels and realized that I hadn't needed (or wanted) a nap for several days. This was very unusual since I've often joked that I have a blackbelt in napping. ;) I felt proud of myself. Hopeful. However…
I hadn't been low-carbing. I'd somehow managed to rationalize having non-sweet carbs like plain oatmeal and whole grain breads. And the lowest-of-the-low glycemic fruits: raspberries and kiwis. It started out with no more than about 15-20 grams of carbs from those sources but gradually crept up. Then I decided to try popcorn, and then potatoes. Which led to burgers with buns and fries and just a little bit of pasta, ok a little more pasta, and tater tots and breakfast cereal with just a hint of sweetness, but surely not enough to really bother me, right? I think you can see where this is going. My carb-craving brain fooled me into thinking I could have carbs as long as they weren't sweet. My rational brain went by the wayside as I crept nearer and nearer the edge of the cliff. My craving mind whispered to me that the *sacrifice* I was making, the heroic endeavor I was embarking upon, the amazing deprivation I was enduring *surely* justified a few unsweetened carbs…
Next thing I knew, I was hurling myself off of it into the waiting arms of CHOCOLATE.
All it took was a couple of good PMS days, a stressful and emotional event in my personal life, the siren call of my body for more carbs (sweetened or not) and BOOM! I was easy pickins for a relapse into a full blown sugar binge. (Sigh).
It was almost as hard to RE-give it up as it was when I first went Sweet-Free. There was sadness, self-pity, defiance, denial, irritability, restlessness, CRAVINGS, dark thoughts, reclusiveness, shame, CRAVINGS… But I knew this time that that peaceful place awaited me. I clung to that thought as I white-knuckled it for about 4 days.
I stumbled a couple times with fruit on my way back to Sweet-Free, but I made it. I'm back to a peaceful place. My carbs are not low enough to be in weight loss mode yet, so I'm still in maintenance.But my weight is stable. And I'm reading as fast as I can to see what others like me have tried that has worked.
Here's an alarming concept from what I've read in SUGAR SHOCK! so far: the authors pose a theory that Reactive Hypoglycemia is *rampant* in America, not rare as it has often been thought. (!!!!???!!!!) They are now saying that the reason it's not diagnosed more often is that lab tests for regular indicators (fasting blood sugar and insulin, etc.) can show normal until it's been going on so long that you develop pre- and full blown diabetic symptoms. The authors suggest that if it were tested for, RH is often a first sign of impending metabolic syndrome but doctors miss it because they don't recognize the symptoms (or outright dismiss them as character flaws as in the case of overwhelming cravings). The wildly varying symptoms of RH can be mis-diagnosed since they masquerade as MANY other conditions --ranging from mood and mental disorders (bipolar, depression, etc) to fibromyalgia to PMS to… you name it. There's a crazy long list here that you may want to take a look at if any of what I've been describing seems eerily familiar to your own experience.
Another thing the author mentioned was that RH relates closely to alcoholism. The doctor in the book said he'd never tested ONE alcoholic who did not also have RH. Many of the people he treated found they weren't craving alcohol anymore after they stabilized their nutrition. It's amazing what this may mean for treatment of alcoholism and possibly other addictions…
Anyway, I'm still gathering information as well as my strength and resolve to re-commit to Phase 1 and a renewal of my weight loss journey. As it turns out, I'm presenting an Inspiration Meeting tonight on "The Psychology of Re-Commitment," where I'll share what I've learned from my life-long journey of re-committing to this process myself. The ultimate strategy is to NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER give up! But how you approach doing that can make a big difference in your success. I'm hoping to re-inspire my clients and myself tonight, so please wish me luck! And please join us if you can! RSVP here! It's FREE for clients and non-clients are welcome to attend for a small admission fee.
I'll write more as a I learn more. :) Thanks for listening.