I've been contemplating whether to make this public, as it is so personal in nature. For the past decade I have been a type II diabetic. In my case, it is self inflicted based on diet and lifestyle. Through the years my doctor has gradually added new drugs and dosages, to the point he told me in March that insulin was the next step. At 325 lbs, keep in mind a decade ago I was at 395, and at mid 50's age-wise, I was ashamed of how far I had slipped. The real gut punch was discovering how much muscle is lost to diabetes, thus making the slope go from gentle decline to dropping over a cliff. I mean my A1c went from low 7's to low 8's in a 60 day period. My fasting blood sugar each morning ranged from 185 to 235. I'd wake up in the morning and my feet would shuffle like an old man. My wife finally decided to stop making me biscuits and gravy and told me she was putting us on the HCG program.
Here's what I've found in my own 4-5 month journey. I was addicted to carbs and never knew it. I thought I understood nutrition and fitness principles...I did not.
The HCG diet that we went on is simple. You rub a hormone creme on in the morning for 37 days, it is the hormone pregnant women produce, basically telling your body it is not starving and allows you to burn fat without your brain convincing yourself you are starving. During the 40 day hormone phase you eat 500 calories of lean meat and very strict types and portions of vegetables. Basically, a uber low carb diet. What I felt 7-10 days in was what I can only imagine a heroin addict feels when going through withdrawls. The hunger for tortilla chips, any carbs, was fierce.
A month before I began the diet I began walking. The first two weeks I could barely make a mile each morning and I was so out of shape my feet blistered. After the first two weeks I was readily able to make two miles. Then I started doing 2 in the morning and 1/2 in the evening. At about 6 weeks, I set the objective of being able to do 2 miles in 30 minutes. I wasn't even close. I also started going to gym, working on the machines, and swimming. Progress was painfully slow. I had lost so much muscle I couldn't lift a 3rd of what I could in college. It was very sad.
The same doctor offered T replacement therapy. At this point I'd try almost anything to reverse a fraction of the impact of the irresponsibility of the prior decade. I found the T replacement thread in this forum and sincerely appreciated the candid back and forth debate. My personal doctor and cardiologist are firmly against the HCG and T replacement. However, their arguments are less founded in what we know and more in what we don't know. When I began searching online I discovered 99% of what is out there is a sales pitch about T replacement. I didn't fully trust the doctor prescribing the program as she had financial interest. The conundrum for me was, "what questions should I even be asking?".
That's where our resident EMT Excellibus has been a God send. He agreed to engage offline in explaining what I should even be asking in addition to current fitness and dietary information. Science has marched forward since my time in the 70's and 80's. Because of his input, I was able to challenge the doctors, cut through the sales b.s., and get straight answers. In my case, I love the doctor I am working with, but when I started asking for exact numbers, specific targets, etc.. Things got real and I started getting what I was paying for. There was accountability, and it would have taken me months to figure out what I got here in a few days. Brett, you have my sincerest thanks.
Moving forward to today, I am in my second HCG session with the wife. I am 60 days into the T replacement therapy, and I've dropped 45 lbs. I walk 4 miles in the morning, the first 2 in 30 minutes. I swim 1/2 to 1 mile 3 to 4 times per week. I lift 2 to 3 times per week, and walk 2 miles each evening. Perhaps more importantly, my fasting blood sugar is in the 70's to 80's each morning. My A1c was 5.4 this morning. Several months ago I was in a size 50 jean. Today I'm in 44, and they're getting baggy.
I've still got better than 50lbs to go. I sincerely have serious apprehension as to how long I can stay away from the Mexican food places, but I am taking it one day at a time.
This is shared in case the next guy stumbles along and wondering if Type II diabetes can be treated another way. Or, if T replacement is the devil. I can only speak for my journey, but so far, I'm glad I'm doing it.
Next week I have a calcium test and visit with the Cardio doc. We'll see how that all turns out.
And, Psalm 103.
Searching the world over for the perfect Chile Relleno.