Diary of an Extended Fast – Introduction

I need to fast right now. Not next week, not tomorrow. Right now.

I’ve just gone (am still going through) a tremendously emotional time, but I can’t let transitory feelings get in the way of my physical health. I’m going to share my experience with you, and frankly that’s a little scary. But doing what’s scary should make me stronger, or at least that’s the theory.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with emotional eating. And if you’ve reading my earlier blog on cheesecake, you’ll know what my go-to food is when I’m feeling sad, lonely, frustrated, angry, grief-stricken, etc. I’ve had cheesecake on two successive days. It tasted wonderful but I knew that the lack of a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor would blind me to the spike of glucose that occurs overnight. While I was able to use insulin to get the glucose down before bed, the residual sugar in my system did its dirty work as I slept and I awoke at 1:30 a.m. with a glucose level of 29 mmols. My target is 7 mmols. This is dangerously high. I injected 8 units of fast-acting insulin and went back to sleep.

I’ve only reached that level once before, and I felt very ill. And while I didn’t feel that sick overnight, I kept waking up and staring incredulously at my watch. “Is it only 11 pm? Is it only 1 am? Is it only 1:45, 2:15, 3:30 am?” No doubt the glucose was a factor in my disrupted sleep.

I got up shortly after 4 a.m. having had a decent amount of sleep overall. My Garmin watch said I slept for 7 hours, which is fine. I can’t seem to stay awake much past 8:30 p.m. There’s not much point in changing that, since I’ll be starting work at 5 a.m. in a week or two. By that time my level was at 12.7 mmols. That’s better. At 8 a.m., it’s at 11.2 mmols. I’ll wait to see where it levels off.

It’s not the rich foods that put weight on me, it’s the insulin I need to address the glucose in my blood. Fat doesn’t make you fat — it can clog up arteries, though. Insulin, deemed by many to save lives, does make us fat. It takes glucose from the blood and shoves it into our fat stores. As our weight increases, we need more insulin to address higher glucose levels. It’s a cycle that continues to increase our weight and impair our health.

The only way for a diabetic person to lose weight is to reduce insulin, and the only way to reduce insulin is to eat less. The best way to reduce food intake is fasting. Nobody wants to fast, but it works. And it’s not as hard as you think.

As you can see from the image, my weight has been riding steadily since I upped my insulin intake in April 2022. The graph doesn’t show (due to a new watch) that my weight had been steady at 143-145 lbs for six months, since I followed a low-carb, mainly vegan diet. Dabbling with long-term insulin and changing my diet to include more chicken, fish and pork has raised by weight by 20 lbs. I’ve weighed more in the past, because of insulin, and I see where this is going if I don’t do something.

What follows will be a daily diary of how my fasting goes. My goal at this point is to do 7 days which should, if history serves, reduce my weight by 10 lbs. I expect to regain 5 lbs upon eating again, but if I stick to my diet I shouldn’t gain more than that. I’ve done this before — that’s how to got to the low 140s. I have no choice but to do it again. Wish me luck.

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