Not All Eating Plans are Created Equal

Hello Everyone! It’s been a while. How is it that we are halfway through the 2nd quarter of the year already? Anyway, I have popped in to share a recent experience with a weight challenge I joined. One this for sure, not all eating plans are created equal.

Maya Angelou famously said, ‘ When someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them.’ Well, I have learned that this is not only true for people but for programmes as well. I recently took up my medical aid’s healthy weight challenge (yes, I am still on that journey😅). That was my first mistake.

Assumption is the mother of all…

The first alarm bells started ringing when I did the little survey when I signed up. There was no diabetic option under dietary requirements. I figured they already knew my diagnosis, so my diet would automatically be diabetic-friendly. I was wrong. I was pretty excited by the recipes they had provided. They looked simple enough and relatively tasty. More alarm bells went off when I saw the mention of low-fat yoghurt and what looked like a lot of carbs. Given all the bad press and the growing scientific evidence that low-fat is not as healthy as everyone thought it was, I was surprised that they are still recommending it. The other crucial red flag was that nutritional information was unavailable for the meals. The data was also kept from the dieticians that were supporting us. Despite all these red flags, I soldiered on. I had a dietician assigned to me, so I thought she would point out where a meal might need some adjustment for a person with diabetes. Once again, I was wrong.

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The Journey is Supposed to be Enjoyable

Nope, it wasn’t. It was stressful. I had to take pics of every meal and share them with the dietician daily. She would critique my meals which I really felt was unnecessary. Still, it was the closest I came to understanding the nutritional composition of my meals. Eventually, I resorted to using the app, My Fitness Pal to get a feel for how carb heavy my meals were. In the end, it was my body that told confirmed that this eating plan was not working for me. I was not losing weight, and I felt bloated and uncomfortable. Thankfully, I wasn’t gaining weight, but I definitely didn’t lose any. Eventually, I made a choice to stop following the plan. The dietician is still available to me as I signed up for the 6-month program, so let’s see how that goes. She would cost way more for one visit than I pay for daily access to her expertise monthly, so why not.

So I have decided to keep most of my meals low carb, high fat. I need to get back to doing the 16:8 IF. I have let that eating window slide to about 10 hours because I have been eating my last meal too late. The good news is that since I stopped that eating plan, I have lost 2kg over about 3 weeks, which is a good start. Now I need to keep these good habits up so that number on the scale maintains its downward trend.

My son and I have also joined the gym, although we have yet to make it a regular habit. I love classes and started the step class. Oh, my hat! The pace is hectic! The routine is not as simple as it was 20 years ago (Yes, it is that long since I joined a step class🫣), and the instructor includes a few Zulu dance moves here and there. It is good fun, but phew, it is a challenge.

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Well, that’s it from me for now. I hope all the mums have had a delightful and blessed Mother’s Day today. Bye for now!

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Overcoming T2 Diabetes – An Update

I thought I would give an update on my quest to reversing this diabetes that I happen to have. The short update is that I am not there yet, in fact I am a little further away than I would like to be but I am learning a lot along the way.

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Discipline has not been my strength

The reality is that if I just get into the habit of preparing my food over the weekends or at least the day before, I know that I will reach my goal a whole lot faster. Preparation is key and I have just not made the effort. One thing I have changed is that I do cook from scratch almost every day now. Prior to this I ate fast food at least 3 to 4 times a week. This actually created a new problem. My cholestrol levels were starting to rise. Thankfully, eating home cooked meals and lots of avos seems to have done the trick and I have gotten my readings back under control. Phew.

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I actually enjoy exercise

I had made a vow that I will achieve my vitality goals every week this year and I did up until last month when I was not well for a few days so I couldn’t exercise. Of course with the rising cost of living, a new gym membership was out of the question and I don’t want to spend on petrol where I can avoid it so I turned to the FitOn app. I love the diverstity of the workout types and intensities. I have my favourite instructors that I follow like Jeanette Jenkins who has such a sense of humour so I have a good laugh here and there while working out. Sadly, I haven’t lost a gram and in fact, I have gained a bit but I tell myself that is muscle mass as I can see some muscle definition peeping through my fat. It gives me hope that I will get there and who knows, maybe I will have a toned body like I did in my 20’s soon. I am clearly getting fitter as well as the workouts that took my heart rate to 80% -89% of my max heart rate a few months ago now only get me to 70-79%. It’s a bit of schlep because now I have to work out more often in order to achieve the same amount of points…lol. I now have to work out 5 times a week instead of 3 in order to achieve the max number of points I need for the week but this is not a bad thing.

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Sleep is my friend

Don’t ever underestimate the knock on effect that a break in your sleep has on your blood glucose levels. A good night’s sleep is so important. Those nights where I have a broken sleep for whatever reason, always result in higher blood glucose levels in the morning.

So, while things have not gotten better, they have not gotten much worse but they definitely are not where I wanted them to be by now. The fault does lie with me and, at the end of the dusty day, it lies with my diet. There is no way around it. I have got to change my diet or I will not achieve my goal. I have to cut down on my carbs in order to reduce the amount of insulin I produce and the amount of glucose in blood ant any point in time. I have not stopped Intermittent Fasting (IF) by the way. I just eat way too often during my 8 hr eating window and too many of the wrong things. IF on it’s own is just not enough. It worked well initially because I only ate twice, max three times, in those 8 hours and I actually kept that window at 6 hours and not 8. I let a few bad habits creep in during lockdown that I am battling to shake. I guess I just haven’t committed to leaving them behing yet.

So that’s where I am currently at. I will succeed. In fact, you know what, I commit to succeeding. Snacking stops here and now. I am not a snacker anymore. That is no longer who I am. Watch this space for more updates 🙂 The news will be better next time.

Ciao for now!

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