*DISCLAIMER - Please note in this article I am purely referring to my Type 1 Diabetes. Remember Your Doses May Vary and all information found in this blog post is my opinion and what works for me ONLY and is not indented as medical advice. Please consult the relevant health care professionals if you feel the need to make a change to your treatment plan after reading this post*
Since my last post at the end of January, I am happy to say that I have stuck to my Fitness Resolution and apart from the occasional and very necessary hypo treatments, all is going well. I am eating healthy, exercising far more than I was before and most importantly I have seen good blood glucose numbers for the vast majority of the time since going on the meal plan 💪🏼. Sadly, despite the great benefits I have seen so far in terms of more energy, sleeping better and eating a tasty and varied diet...DavidJohn (DJ) and the Elite Program cannot prevent illness and all the joys that brings to a person with Diabetes!
Nonetheless, DJ has been a fabulous in terms of support, and checked-in with me throughout the week of illness to make sure I was doing okay. I will say that this is the most supported I have felt in terms of any fitness scheme or initiative I have done before - so thank you for that DJ!! The Diabetic Warriors are very supportive too. Thank you 👍🏼
So, what am I actually doing differently? Well despite having started eating low- carbohydrates meals before starting working with DJ, the plan is based around continually eating low carbohydrates options. I will say that the thought of this absolutely terrified me initially!!! As many of my followers will be aware, at the beginning of last year and right up until July I suffered from a number of nigh time/ sleeping hypos, with some leading to a few stays at hospital due to the severity of them.
Despite being aware of how far technology and insulin has developed since I was first diagnosed, I must say that carbohydrates have always been pained as being a diabetic's best friend for almost all of my time with diabetes. Therefore, a fully low carbohydrates diet did make me concerned that I may cause a return of the horrid night hypos which made me a little nervous to say the least.
With this in mind, my initial few days were more of a 'weaning' period for me in order to reduce my carbohydrates intake and to gain confidence in the plan. DJ has been in daily contact to ensure that I was happy with every aspect of the plan and he also encouraged me to adjust to the diet first before contemplating starting on an intensive exercise regime!
After a number of conversations with DJ, and a few tweaks in my Bolus ratio as I reduced my carbohydrates intake, I found that my blood sugars were far less erratic and with very few spikes or drops in my levels compared to previously. Despite the insulin pump making a HUGE difference to my life and control since I started on it just over 7 months ago, I still found that due to insulin sensitivity and the number of carbohydrates in a meal that my bloods would raise and drop rapidly and by a few more mmol that I would want as shown in the graph below of a typical 'pre-low carbohydrates diet' day.
As far as the food side of things is concerned – this is not a ‘diet’ or a ‘fad’ in my opinion. Lower carbohydrate foods are a lifestyle choice that I have made for the benefits they are giving me based on research and slowly-introduced changes. There are many no or low carbohydrate options out there that are not full of unhealthy fats as many people seem to believe. Lots of yummy recipes are easily available with fresh, natural fruit, vegetables, eggs and nuts/ seeds being the foundation to the vast majority of meals. Eating out today is also not an issue at all. In fact, if the Elite Program means I get to eat more food like the one in the photograph below from a family lunch this week, then I’m more than happy to make this lifestyle choice and change, for my fitness, health and diabetes control and for the amazing, tasty food options I can enjoy.
Never one to be content with the basics, I am always looking for new low or no carbohydrate snacks, meal or recipe ideas, so if you have any suggestions then please do get in contact. As someone who enjoys food and cooking - I really would appreciate any recommendatioins you may have!
So, what's next? The main focus of the next few weeks for me will be increasing my exercise sessions and to try and stabilise my blood glucose further, avoiding hypo and hyper readings as best I can. This will mean that I will need to continue to monitor my blood sugars regularly and to adjust my insulin doses post-exercise to avoid any peaks (as I have found with my personal post-exercise blood glucose levels). This is a very individual process as we all find that exertion in different ways causes varying results with our diabetes both during and post-exercise. This will be my main focus as I start building my fitness-levels and increase the amount of exercise I’m doing.
Of course, I would, as always state that ‘Your Doses May Vary (YDMV)’ especially pre and post-exercise and that you should seek the help of your Health Care Professional if you have any medical/ dosing questions and if you have not exercised for a long period of time or since diagnosis.
Just remember that whatever your exercise choice is, the most important part is to keep moving and ensure that exercise in any form is a regular part of your daily life, whether you have diabetes or not!
Until next time, keep injecting 💉 or pumping 📟 insulin!