“Before they diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes, I was a carboholic. I remember having a neighbor friend with diabetes (most likely type 1) when I was a young teen. Her mom told my mom, so I would know not to offer Diana lemonade or fruit punch after we’d been out riding our bikes together, because she felt bad always having to tell me, ‘No, thank you.’

“My mom assured me then that Diana didn’t get diabetes from eating or drinking foods with sugar, even though her body could not process those foods. So I never thought twice about how much candy or bread or how many cookies I was eating. I just ate what tasted good to me.

“The first blood test the doctor brought to my attention was my lipid panel. Cholesterol and triglycerides were both too high, so my family nurse practitioner prescribed Lipitor, which is what she said she herself was taking
for cholesterol. After a while, that drug caused extreme muscle pains in my legs, so she switched me to simvastatin. When that also caused muscle pains, she cut the dose in half. After studying up online about statin drugs and their side effects, I gradually weaned myself off those pills and stopped taking any statin.

“I was never diagnosed with pre-diabetes. All at once, at the same appointment when my medical practitioner told me I had osteoporosis, she also said I had diabetes mellitus. She said the computer had flagged my blood
glucose level as ‘a little bit high,’ so she had the lab run an A1C test on the blood sample. Apparently, the result came back as 6.5 or 6.6%. When I asked what to do about it, her only advice was, ‘Stop all frank sugars.’ (What does that even mean?!)

“The first thing I did when I got home was gather up all the bags of M&Ms I had bought after Halloween that year. The next day, I took them to work and gave them away to anyone who wanted them. I stopped buying ice cream, cookies, and pie, so I wouldn’t be tempted if those foods weren’t in the house. I weighed around 160 pounds.

“Somehow, I was able to keep my A1C between 6.2 and 6.4% for a while, even though I didn’t know about cutting back on other sources of carbs, such as breads and pasta. I was also still trying to eat ‘low-fat’ foods. It wasn’t
until I began trying the low-carb, high-(healthy)-fat, moderate-protein way of eating that I lost any weight.

“Over two and a half years, my weight went down to 120 pounds and my A1C to 5.2%. Since the coronavirus quarantine, the community center where I used to work out has been closed; plus, I stay at home a lot more now.
My weight is back up to 125 pounds, which I’m okay with; but I don’t like that my A1C is back up to 5.9%.

“To me, the most important thing to do is to eat only two meals a day and eat real foods—a lot of salads and other green vegetables. I keep my carbs below 75 grams per day on most days. And exercising really seems to help lower the insulin resistance, so I need to make myself do more of it.”

Jeanette Roberson