I (Kind of) Quit Sugar (Because I Had To)

Sugar-Design Crush


Back in May a completely unexpected thing happened. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. (I struggle not to go all Wilfred Brimley every time and say DIABEETUS.)

When I look back over the past few years, my decline is crystal clear. But I didn’t realize what my symptoms (or that I even had symptoms) were pointing to until my Mom casually suggested that maybe I should have a full blood panel run just to rule it out. So of course I looked up the disease on WebMD and suspected that’s exactly what was going on when I read the symptoms. Crap. That kicked a few things into gear, mainly doctor appointments and plenty of blood work. My numbers in the key areas were stupidly high. Awesome.

That was the first few weeks in May, and since then lots has happened. I’ve got my diet more or less under control thanks to a nutritionist and educating myself. Because I was mainly vegetarian already and didn’t eat tons of starches I was off to a good start. (It’s a misconception that diabetes is all about sugar control, it’s just as much if not more about your carbohydrate intake.) I bought the most incredible used treadmill from a friend (Built-in fans!) and use it for at least 30 minutes nearly every day. And I’m on medication. Luckily I’m not insulin dependent, but I do have a pill regimen that’s being built upon.

I started noticing the differences in myself nearly immediately. Gone was the need for daily afternoon naps, gone was the crash after most meals, gone was the near constant thirst, gone was the rapidly shedding weight I’d been experiencing… and gone were the sweets from my kitchen. I’m going to be completely honest, that last one was the toughest. (Though I’ll admit the weight loss was the only good thing going on.) This is the start of a complete lifestyle overhaul that will last a lifetime. Once my numbers get down to where they need to be I’ll be able to indulge here and there, but I’m stuck with the Big D forever.

There are definitely a lot of misconceptions about Type 2 Diabetes. One being that you get it only from being obese or a sugar hound. Though both of those things can lend a hand, in my case it was hereditary. But the thing is there’s no one way to get it, the medical community isn’t 100% sure what causes its onset. What they do know is that my pancreas has stopped producing the requisite amount of insulin necessary for my body to process glucose and get it out of my body. So without medication it just travels around in my blood and makes its way out eventually through urine, without ever being used as energy.

While it does suck, I’ve taken this thing on with a positive attitude. (I’m getting healthy! I’m getting skinny!) I mean, it’s not like I can give it back so I might as well do all that I can to treat it. So for now I’ll be living vicariously through my Food & Cocktails board on Pinterest and have a (no longer secret) board called Diabetes Food. Because that’s just the kind of girl that I am.

  • Niki

    July 2, 2014 at 11:51 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing! I wish you the best of health with your new lifestyle!

    I do wish you would share your Diabetes Food board though. Amongst all the cake pops and cheesy bready appetizers, Pinterest can always use more healthy food ideas.

  • Maggie Mason

    July 2, 2014 at 1:04 pm Reply

    Whoa! Go, Kelly. And maybe consider making your Diabetes food board public. That shit is helpful, and you don’t have any reason to be embarrassed.

    • Kelly

      July 2, 2014 at 1:08 pm Reply

      It’s public now. 🙂

  • Jennifer Little

    July 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm Reply

    Paleo. My dad was moments away from going on the medication for type 2 diabetes and completely changed his diet to Paleo. At his next appointment his numbers were stable and a year later his numbers were so great his doctor asked what he was doing. It’s just something to look into. He was able to avoid the medication. xo

    • Kelly

      July 2, 2014 at 4:35 pm Reply

      i quickly realized that that’s a great option! my only problem is that i don’t eat much meat at all. i’ve been researching recipes though, and some of them will work for sure. thanks so much, Jennifer!

  • Pam

    July 2, 2014 at 4:18 pm Reply

    I currently have Gestational Diabetes that acts as Type 2. Thanks for sharing your story! More people need to know that it’s not just about sugar intake.

    • Kelly

      July 2, 2014 at 4:36 pm Reply

      totally! and it’s definitely a misconception i also had before being diagnosed.

  • A

    July 2, 2014 at 11:40 pm Reply

    Carbs are the devil. Hope above all you feel good! Take care of yourself.

  • Upholstery cleaners Wimbledon

    July 3, 2014 at 4:45 am Reply

    You are lucky that you found it on time because if you don’t take care for yourself with medication and diet, it can cause many problems with eyes and almost all other organs 🙁 Be strong and don’t give up!

  • Jacky

    July 3, 2014 at 8:14 am Reply

    Thanks for sharing, love your attitude toward this new change. Thanks too for sharing the Pinterest board. Check out http://mybizzykitchen.com/ for more great food ideas. Best of luck!

  • D'Aundra

    July 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm Reply

    You’re brave for sharing your story. I think you’ll find that through diet and exercise you’ll feel better and control your condition. You may get it so under control that medication won’t be needed (I’ve witnessed it many people).

    In any case, I’m glad to read that you have a pretty positive outlook on the diagnosis and are taking steps in the right direction toward healing. Good luck!

  • rose | rockrosewine

    July 4, 2014 at 9:58 am Reply

    I had really bad GD so I feel your pain. I took my blood sugar levels 7 times a day and still had to give myself an insulin shot at night to counter the so-called “dawn effect”. However, the experience changed how I eat and I lost a ton of weight after I gave birth. I really recommend this book: http://www.diabetes-book.com/ by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein who was the first person to establish a link between blood sugar and carbs. Courage!

    • Kelly

      July 4, 2014 at 10:03 am Reply

      Thanks so much for the book recommendation, Rose! I definitely plan on picking it up.

  • Monica Lee

    July 5, 2014 at 8:28 am Reply

    Wow! Just catching up with you! Lots going on, I see. Health is a big deal and once you deal with the grief that you might feel to losing the “way things were’ you will quickly realize everything you do going forward is your road to recovery-the road to optimal health for you! ISn’t it nice to figure our WHY you were feeling like poo? This is coming from a girl that gave up croissants because of a gluten issue. I always keep in check how I used to feel (awful for several years!!) and then passing on wheat goods is a no brainer. AND I am actually kind of proud of my discipline (who knew!) You’ve got this, Miss Beall!

  • Khristian A. Howell

    July 14, 2014 at 10:40 am Reply

    Wow! That is alot to digest for sure. Life is just so different when you are not feeling “right”. Glad to hear you have answers and you are already feeling more like yourself. Thanks for sharing this. This runs in my family too, so thanks for the insight.

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