Living with Diabetes – Week 01

On July 15th 2022, I got the rather unwelcome news that I now had Type 2 Diabetes, according to the current NHS criteria.

Getting used to living with a recent diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes

Following a phone conversation with my GP, I decided to change my diet immediately and in the most basic ways possible.

The indicator for T2D in my case was a sustained elevation in blood sugar levels. I had four days between the initial phone chat and a consultation with Emmy GP. I decided that in those 4 days I would forgo sugar, salt, fat and carbs as much as possible.

Since then I have stuck to that plan, by eating three home cooked/prepared meals a day; reducing my portions (particularly carbohydrates); and cutting out snacks between meals.

I have also started to exercise on a daily basis although that has been minimal and gentle due to my low energy levels.

After the initial face-to-face meeting with my GP, we agreed that the best approach was go three months without medication. I was to change my diet and exercise routine permanently in order to lose weight, and hopefully, put the diagnosis into remission. It was also recommended that I should go on a permanent course of statins to help regulate my cholesterol levels.

Thoughts on week 01

So far I don't feel very different. My energy levels are still low. I have been walking, cycling and doing a sedate form of burpees (terrible name) as well as shadow boxing with light weights.

That said, my occasional bloated feelings have more or less disappeared and I am having less trouble getting to sleep.

After Day 5 I started to have cravings for chocolate. Those craving increased massively in the days that followed.

So far, I have just ignored the cravings. I am told that such pangs are part of what is called 'extinction behaviour'. My body is reacting badly to the prospect of no more cakes and and is rebelling against the prospect. In all my previous attempts at dieting, this has been the point where I failed.

This time, I cannot afford to fail, so I have a very different attitude, regarding sugar as basically a poison. Whether or not this approach will be sufficient to get over the period of cravings is yet to be seen. So far I am doing OK.