Get Healthy Journey. Chapter 3.

It’s been a while since I’ve written this kind of post, but I’ve shared this on other social media platforms with close friends and family already. If there’s someone else out there that might be encouraged or benefit from my story, all the better.

I have Type 2 Diabetes. I’ve had it for at least 20 years since I was first diagnosed after my 3rd child was born. Throughout my 30’s, I basically told myself and my doctor that getting healthy wasn’t really an option in my life. There was just no time. I had a family with small children. I had an extremely busy career path I was trying to blaze. And at some point, I made the crazy decision to go get my MBA at night. Despite all of my doctors’ warnings and pleading, I basically told him or her to just keep me alive long enough to deal with my health when I was older and had more time.

Finally back in 2010 and then again in 2012, I went through a couple phases of trying to get healthy and reduce meds. I wrote about them previously here. I was counting calories, measuring portions, tracking every step and minute of exercise I was doing. It worked for a while, but it was exhausting. Looking back, I should have known that it would be unsustainable.

Since then, I had fallen off the wagon hard. I stopped exercising and managing my diet. I gained all of my weight back. And I was put back on a whole new regiment of meds with a new doctor.

Well, fast forward to March 2021. My A1c hit its highest reading in over 5 years at 7.3%. Not nearly as bad as my 2001 or 2007 levels, but it was usually under 7% in recent years. And that scared me and really woke me up. My doctor, who was leaving the practice, basically told me that there was nothing she could do for me if I wasn’t going to get control of my weight and my diet. I would eventually start to develop neuropathy and even blindness.

So I decided it was time to get serious again. And 2 major changes helped me get started. The first was switching to a Continuous Glucose Meter (CGM), in my case the Dexcom G6. Instead of random, painful finger sticks sporadically throughout the day, the CGM monitors your sugars all day long and sends your levels to your phone in real-time. This helped me to see how my body reacted to sleep, stress, exercise, and food. I could see which foods were really causing my blood sugars to spike and which were safer. Rather than counting calories and carbs, I simply monitored my blood sugar all day long. I was fortunate that my employer’s health insurance plan had just made a change to cover 100% of all diabetic prescriptions because the G6 sensors and transmitters are not cheap.

The second change I made was after I saw an ad online for Muniq shakes. They claimed to be not just a meal replacement to help lose weight and improve gut health, but they also claimed to help diabetics reduce A1c and manage more consistent blood sugar levels throughout the day. This was something I had never heard of before, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I also started using the treadmill that was sitting idly in our home for a couple years. At first, it was a challenge to get even 10 minutes of moderate running done. Today, my usual pace is 4.5 – 5 miles in 60 minutes.

At my next doctor’s visit in May, 2 months after starting my new regiment, I saw my A1c drop 0.8% to 6.5%. My doctor was shocked. I could tell that he was skeptical, thinking I was on some fad diet and that I would bounce back up by my next visit.

In September, my A1c was down to 5.3% Anything under 6.0% is considered to be in the green, much better diabetic control and lower risk of adverse side effects.

My doctor was, once again, shocked. He suggested taking me off of Metformin completely, while still taking my Victoza and Farxiga as a test. My next visit is coming up in a couple months in March. My goal is to be completely off of all meds and manage my diabetes through diet and exercise alone.

If you’re still reading this and are diabetic, type 1 or 2, there is hope. It’s a bit trickier for insulin-dependent diabetics, but at the end of the day, keeping your sugars level without too many highs and lows is the goal. Continuous monitoring is such a game-changer. Sadly, many health insurance providers don’t see the long-term benefits of covering CGMs. Though it may reduce short-term expenses by denying them, more medications, treatment, and potentially surgery or emergency care will cause costs to skyrocket in the long run and overall health to suffer.

If you’re already on a CGM and trying to exercise, maybe Muniq is worth the shot for you. Check it out. Use this link and you can get 20% off of your first order. I’m living proof that it works and can be done.

My infamous ugly sweater – before and after

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