I don’t even know where to start, so maybe I should begin with explaining this term I invented for myself. Insulin resistance is the name of this special health condition that I have, and resistance troopers were soldiers of the Resistance in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
And I gave myself this title becauseI think I’m dealing with this condition pretty well, in spite of the fact that it requires a very strict lifestyle. (Note: I don’t want to expropriate this title, I’m happy to award it to anyone who shares the same lifestyle, strength and persistance. I’m thinking about creating a Facebook group for us Troopers, too. Mostly because I didn’t find any English speaking IR support groups where they follow the same type of IR diet that I do. But I’m not sure about it yet, I don’t know if anyone would be interested.) I know that technically, it’s stupid, because it’s as if I wanted to help the insulin to resist. But it sounds so badass! 🙂
Insulin resistance is basically a stage before type two diabetes. When you have diabetes, your body cannot produce any insulin, and the purpose of insulin is to help the cells of the body in processing sugar. When you have insulin resistance, your pancreas still functions and produces insulin, but the cells are resistant to insulin, so they need more insulin to process sugar than in a healty body. Therefore you most produce more insulin, which does some pretty bad stuff to your whole body, and also, after a time, your pancreas will be depleted and it won’t be able to produce any insulin at all, and that is when you have diatetes. (This is my short and simplified description, but I plan to write a lot more about this stuff and the symptoms as well as the methods of fighting it.)
In order to improve my condition, I have to follow a strict diet and excercise regularly. I have to avoid sugar, flour and any kind of food with a high glycemic index. Which is pretty hard, most of the food you can buy in shops contains some of these, so shopping has become a kind of a scavanger hunt for me. Besides this, I have to watch by carbohydrate intake, my daily allowance is 160 grams, divided into six meals a day. As for excercise, I have to do at least 4×1 hour in a week: 2 cardios and 2 strength trainings.
If you think this is not easy, you’re right. But it is worth it, and I’ve never felt so good in my life.
I’ve always been like a poster girl for the yo-yo effect. I was slim as a little girl, but since the age of 15, I’ve always had something going on. In the first years there were some diseases and then later some hormone inputs that made me gain weight, but I didn’t have to work too hard to loose the extra, when the effects of the outside factor were gone.
However, when I got out of college, I started enjoying having my own life, own home and own money, and the effects of the substantial amount of beer, late night snacks and lack of excercise started to show, and since then it always took me considerable efforts to loose weight.
I had many attempts and some success stories with calorie counting and pilates, but I could never keep the figure I achieved with my hard work for a long time. I’ve always had these incredible cravings for sweets and pastries that I could resist only for shorter or longer periods.
Here’s my first before-after photo, when my body was young and easy to form. It took me 3 months of strict calorie counting and 5 pilates trainings per week to loose 10 kilos (about 22 pounds) but it all came back within a year or two.
But now that I’ve started the lifestyle recommended for insulin resistants about a year ago, I’m making a steady and good progress. It takes a lot of effort to do everything properly, but I don’t find it hard to stick to it, because the cravings are gone, and I’m feeling great. I’m sleeping better, I have more strength and I can concentrate better when I’m working. And the headaches are gone, too. I used to have terrible headaches in the evenings when I was doing my diets that forbade eating anything after 6 pm. Now I know it was the worst thing an insulin resistant could do, because it made my blood sugar too low that caused a heavy headache.
I made a before-after photo when I hit the one year milestone, here is is, too. I know the angle isn’t the same, my head is so big on the second one 🙂 But I think you can see the progress.
And here’s a before-after photo showing the difference between my worst period after quitting smoking and the recent times. I still don’t call it my official before-after pic, since I have 2-3 kilos to go until I reach the target I’ve set for myself. And it doesn’t even look too professional. When I made the new pics, I didn’t even think I’d use them as after photos, I was just happy about my new yoga pants with an antelope skull on it. (Not that I took the old photos just to have some nice before pics.) But anyway, I’ll make better ones when I’m over the finish line. I have to admit it’s terrible to see how I looked, I’m even a bit ashamed to post these pics. But I did walk around like that, people saw me, so I can’t deny it or keep it a secret. And with the new photos, maybe it’s not that bad.
The last picture I wanted to show you is my weight chart of the last 3,5 years. I know some people say it’s not good to measure yourself every day, but I find in encouraging and useful, it helps me to stay on track. The cross on chart marks the time I started the IR lifestyle. I think it shows pretty well that it works. You can also see my useless efforts before, when I made some progress with the calorie counting and starving after 6 pm, but it was never permanent.
So, this is my story as an Insulin Resistance Trooper in a nutshell. (Yes, I call a thousand words long post a nutshell.) Feel free to share in a comment if you have your own story with something similar, I’d love to read about other people’s experience and victories. You can also ask me any questions about this whole thing, I’m happy to answer them.