A triumphant return to fasting

I haven’t fasted since I was in hospital two months ago, mainly because I lacked confidence to mess with the status quo. I’ve been scared. Years ago, I fasted while balancing long- and short-term insulin. Still, now I feel unsure.

That stint in hospital really scared me. Jardiance was the culprit this time — I fell into the category where a side-effect included ketoacidosis, a life-threatening illness. 

There’s nothing like a visit to intensive care to shake you to your foundation. I’m still recovering from the emotional effects of that, and one of the casualties has been fasting, a practice of not eating. It has helped me cope with insulin-induced weight gain.

A few weeks ago I saw a post from Carolann McCann on Facebook, posting through her website The Low Carb Family, saying she’s organizing a five-day group fast. I know Carolann through her husband Jeff who coached me through previous fasts. Carolann and Jeff offer coaching through their program, and there’s a lot to know about how to cut the cord on food.

I signed up for the group fast because I don’t know when I would have found the confidence to fast on my own. My previous attempts at fasting have been frustrating, but my emotions have a lot to do with whether I succeed or not. I’m not talking here about emotional eating, but buried emotions playing havoc with my glucose/weight loss.

I wasn’t sure what I weighed Saturday, when I started the fast. My doctor’s scales are metric. The scale said I weighed 75 kg, but that means nothing to me unless I do a Google conversion to pounds. I have done many fasts of different lengths before, and came into this one vowing to take things day by day. For a long while now, I’ve struggled to find foods I want to eat, so I made the most of this ambivalence and set off on my fast. I work weekends, which is a good distraction. The need for insulin diminished; I cut my long-term insulin dose in half to accommodate the diet change. Of course, I didn’t need any meal-time insulin. This reduction of insulin helps my body shed weight since insulin works by removing glucose from the blood and storing it as fat.

Last evening, with three days completed, I was at a crossroad. My glucose was rising. Dosing isn’t an exact science. My Dexcom showed my numbers getting up into the double-digits (mmols). Fasting generates ketones (the exhaust fumes of burning body fat) and there’s potential danger in the combination of high glucose and high ketones. I do not want to return to hospital, so I made the decision to eat a small protein meal (fried egg whites, bacon, shredded cheese) and return to regular doses of insulin.

This morning I awoke, weighed myself, and was astounded to see I’ve dropped six pounds, up from my usual pound a day loss during a fast. Maybe Ozempic has something to do with this, but I’m only at the three-week point of introducing it to my body — the dose is very small. I feel good and have decided to return to fasting.

It’s a day off, so between a trip to the vet for Pete’s itchy ear, I’ll be tuned into Netflix. (Why are all the participants on Love is Blind so frigging shallow??? I also am enjoying Queer Eye for the emotional/hair/wardrobe transformations they offer real people.)

Have a great day. If you eat, make healthy choices.

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