Friday, June 8, 2012

A Wake-up Call

Yesterday I received a significant wake up call. When I had my WLS in 2008 I stopped taking the insulin which I was injecting four times a day. The night before my surgery on June 4th 2008 I took my last night time injection. Immediately after surgery my blood sugar started to drop along with the rapid weight loss. Within a couple of months my fasting blood sugar taken in the morning was below 100 which is generally considered the “normal” morning blood sugar. For a few years that blood sugar level stayed fairly constant.

However in 2010 as I was getting ready to leave Italy my weight had started to inch upwards. I noted that, but felt that my weight was just “redistributing”. Then as my clothing stopped fitting as well and my weight moved from 165 up to 180 I realized that this was not redistributing but I was putting on weight again. I had promised myself that I would never go back to where I had been before the surgery and my concern mounted. I assessed my diet and found that in general I was still eating small portions at meals, and that should have been sufficient to control the weight gain, however I realized I was also eating snacks between meals. My calorie count went from approximately 1200 calories per day to 1800. I was also working in a relatively sedentary job and my activity level had gone down. I wrote about this issue in an earlier blog entry and then did relatively little to alter the trajectory of the problem.

Blood tests done a year ago showed that my fasting blood sugar was 110 to 115 and while this was not a major issue it should have caused me to reassess what was going on. The correlation between weight and blood sugar levels is very strong and Type 2 diabetes is a significant problem for overweight people. After 15 years of injecting insulin to control my diabetes and then having the syndrome disappear after the WLS I became a bit less conscious of the effects this “weight redistribution” was having on me.

Which brings me to yesterday. I have moved to a new city and was initiating a new relationship with a primary care physician and after my first visit I had blood work done. Yesterday I found out that I had gained about 30 pounds and that my fasting blood sugar level was 145. 145!!!! The doctor began discussing diabetes medications again and that was my wake up call. I reread what I had written a year or so ago and realized that I was still snacking. That stops today! I will eat my normally small eight bite meals and then if I want to consume anything between meals I will drink a glass of water. Next week I will redo my fasting blood sugar and see where it is. But from today I will focus on losing weight, eating the high protein diet I did so well on, and getting some more exercise.
If I want to live up to my own expectations I will lose 10-15 pounds and drop the blood sugar back to normal. I promised myself that when I was losing weight and now must actively take that admonition to heart.