Diabetes doesn’t go on Holiday…

img_4329-jpgI had to pull out my glucose testing kit this week.

It’s been in retirement for 3 years.

I am not gonna lie.  It was a bit of a low moment.  I was sad and a little scared.

I had a sudden flash of fear that Type 2 (T2) Diabetes was back or trying really hard to creep back in. I was noticing some things…  Things that seemed disconnected, but hauntingly familiar.

Fuzzy thinking. Thirsty. Sleepy. Insatiably hungry. Irritable out of the blue/out of porportion. Craving sugar.  Feeling ‘puffy’.

Not just the normal things that happen in life, I mean, the ‘symptoms’ were out of place given what was happening in my life.

All of the sudden it dawned me WHY these were familiar…  This is the crap that happens when my blood sugars are out of whack.

I hadn’t felt these symptoms in these odd clusters in over three years…

Holy crap.

It was time to test and see what the numbers had to tell me.

I tested as soon as I put the pieces together and realized I was possibly experiencing some blood sugar issues. My post-prandial (2 hours post-meal) glucose was 111.  For me — that’s a solid, if tad-bit high, number.  But respectable.

Whew.  Little breathing room and stab of relief.

I tested a fasting number the next morning and it was 110.  Exhaling in relief.  On the high side, but arguably good.

Yesterday was 100.

I’m in a ‘safe space’ with the numbers I’m seeing and recording.

They’re not as low as I would like, nor are they as low as I can make them when I’m keeping my diet ‘tight’.

While I’m clinically in a non-diabetic range, I still felt pretty clearly this was a wake-up call.

After Mountain Lakes 100 miler back in September, I had a revelation of sorts.  The conversation in my head (and out loud to Spencer…) went sort of like this:

‘I just ran for 100 miles, for close to 30 hours and fueled that effort with about 5,000-6,000 calories of SUGAR.  And while that’s pretty typical running fuel for ‘normal’ folks, uh…  You aren’t normal.  How horribly WRONG/DUMB/STUPID/RIDICULOUS is that equation for someone like YOU??!  Can I remind you that you used to be morbidly obese, insulin-injecting, T2 for two DECADES.  HOLY CRAP BETSY.  You’re a reformed T2 diabetic and you just ran (which you can only do because you are no longer morbidly obese) eating pure, easily accessible to your blood, sugar. This.is.utterly.asinine. You can’t keep doing this.  It’s a recipe for disaster.’

So I made the decision that I needed to change some things.  Immediately.

It all has to start with my day-to-day food plan.

There’s a health condition called ‘Insulin Resistance’.  It also gets talked about as ‘Carbohydrate Intolerance’.  I’ve done a ton of research on it, and I have come to understand that I am no longer T2 Diabetic, but I am still insulin resistant.  And I always will be. I can certainly manage it, but it’s not going to go away. While it is not an entirely accurate description, I kind of think of it as being ‘allergic’ to carbs.

((Here’s the disclaimer in all of this:  I’m an experiment of one. I lost over 200 pounds, reversed type 2 and somehow fell head-over-heels in love with the endurance running world. Turns out that there aren’t a lot of people like me out there, and the ‘normal’ rules for food/nutrition/fueling just don’t ever seem to work well for me. My solutions and chosen paths are not likely to work or make sense for anyone else.))

I’m well aware that if I eat too many carbs {ANY KIND OF CARBS – YES… Even the ‘healthy ones’}  I get swinging blood sugars.  If I keep carbs {even the healthy ones…} to a minimum — my glucose stays in a horizontal and largely stable line.

‘My body hates carbs!’ — me

‘No.  Your body loves carbs.  It loves them to DEATH.’ — Deb, my sister.


Good-bye to my plant based diet that I loved and enjoyed for almost three years. (Averaging 300 – 400 ish grams of carbohydrates per day with a healthy balance of grains, fruits and veggies.)

Hello again to my old friend, no-and-low carb. (Averaging 40-70 grams of total carbs per day.)

I’m tightly restricting my daily carbohydrate load. ANY carbohydrate source.  Aiming for whole, non-processed foods. And I am most especially vigilant for any of the added or hidden variations of sugars/corn syrups that were truly and absolutely my worst enemy as a T2.

I know how to do this.

I just willingly and knowingly strayed from the basics that got me ‘here’; I strayed from the food plan that helped me lose weight, become non-diabetic, learn to run…  I mean I reversed T2 Diabetes — I suddenly felt FREE and healthy enough to try new things with food, fueling, diet.  So I did!  I’m totally OK with those experiments and what they have taught me about myself and the way my body works.

I just find it humbling and interesting that I am back where it all started.

Back to the very basics of what worked when I first started this crazy journey.  Back to low carb, NO SUGAR, low glycemic indexed foods.

((For my running friends who are wondering about fueling during training and events that this dilemma now hands me…  Well. Join the crowd. Me too.  I’m lost and little bewildered with it all at this moment in time.  But I am deeply driven by the knowledge that if I want to stay healthy and running; I have to stay the course in managing this or T2 Diabetes could possibly win this whole freaking thing. I won’t, can’t let that happen.  So let the new fueling experiments begin. 🙂 )) 

This week has been a solid reminder that T2 diabetes is still chasing me 365 days a year.

It never takes a Holiday.

But, guess what?

I have NO PLANS to take a Holiday either.

6 thoughts on “Diabetes doesn’t go on Holiday…

  1. GOOD FOR YOU!!!! I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog. It’s just what I needed to hear — you’ve motivated me, Betsy. I’ve been working hard, but slipping and sliding, nonetheless. It’s the damn discipline of it all that I hate. You reminded me how important it is to PAY ATTENTION! Thanks.

    —Kathy from:


    1. Kathy! I just went to the Doc this past week and my numbers are a little out of whack. A1c is solid at 4.6, but fasting glucose are a smidgen high… why? Because I’m up about 20 pounds and while I’m doing everything right, I need to tighten some things up. And this cycle of having to keep a tight control can be exhausting. Right?! But it was also a good reminder to me, yet again that we have to stay vigilant. We battle this disease and we battle this disease every day – it never sleeps. Every movement and every morsel of food balance into and on top of this freaking disease. And we make the best choices we can – and have to keep making the best choices we can all along. Keep fighting, keep working! YOU ARE WORTH IT! I am worth it. And when we get tired — we lean on our friends for a little bit, then straighten up, dust off our pants and keep going. 🙂 Have grace for the slip ups, but stay the course. I’m glad you stumbled along on my blog too. I’m about to dive into one of yours. 🙂


      1. Hi Betsy! Hope you enjoyed your “dive” into my blog. I’d kill for your numbers!
        I’m on two metformin/day (down from 3), but my goal is to get off it completely. Not feeling it right now, though 🙁 I have a Dr. appt on the 24th, so I’ll see what my results are…
        –Kathy From:


  2. Kathy! Numbers are fluid. JUST KEEP trying to get it right. That is all you, me, ANY of us can do… I would love to know wha your results are – and how I can support you in getting to those better numbers. The hard part with this beast is that we can do everything ‘right’ and it’s just not ‘right’ for our bodies, our little ol’ experiment of ONE. Just take the information as feedback – and figure out what you can do to make the next set look different. I know this sounds cheesy and trite and maybe even useless when you see some of those numbers… But you can only take one breathe, one step, one bite at a time. T2 is exhausting and overwhelming. And for me – ONLY speaking for me – it remains so hard because I’m also battling all of the ‘crap’ that GOT ME to the point where I had T2. Inactivity, poor eating habits, food compulsions, etc… So not only am I managing the disease and trying to figure out how to make my dysfunctional system (that I created….) work as best it can — I’m working into all of the crap that landed me here in the first place. And THAT IS OVERWHELMING to even thing about. So one step. One more step than yesterday. One bite of good food, and then take a break and don’t eat the exact next bite. Breathe. Lots of breathing. 🙂 And my tribe. SURROUNDING myself with people who get me, help me, don’t let me take a day off…. YOU HAVE GOT THIS KATHY! You’re worth the fight. You are worth every effort. Take those results you get, gauge them as the feedback it is. And make a plan…. You don’t have to kill for my numbers. Get your own. 🙂


    1. You’re absolutely right, Betsy. One thing that I’ve stopped doing and am going to do again, is post my #’S and weight at the end of each post. Bill from “Simply Living Over 50” mentioned it one time and I found it to be a good tactic! Kept me motivated and honest. Starting that again.
      –Kathy From:


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