What Leading By Example Is Not…

I realized during the last week of my previous challenge that Month 3 seemed better than Month 2, I was actually less consistent in my eating behavior. I just was able to recover well from my poor choices. Despite that, I desired to end the challenge on a positive notes and did a great job eating and fasting, as planned, during the last week. Everything was going great… until it wasn’t anymore, through no fault of my own.

On Friday, the second day of my two day fast to end the challenge, my blood glucose and ketone measurements were not what I expected. My glucose was 58mg/dL and I was dizzy and didn’t feel well. My ketones were at 4.0mmol/L.

These values made no sense for where I was in my fast. It hadn’t even been 33-hours when I checked my blood. Experience taught me for where I was and what I had eaten prior to the fast, I should have had a blood glucose around 70mg/dL and ketones around 1.5mmol/L. I honestly don’t understand what happened in my sleep to make everything so out of whack.

I wanted to give my body a chance to recover from the low blood sugar by engaging in gluconeogenesis, a process that never failed me before. Any time my blood sugar dipped too low, it climbed back up on its own.

I was just a little shaky, so I thought I should break the fast and eat. I chose a high fat meal of eggs, bacon, and avocado. My breakfast hit the spot and I felt great. My blood sugar rose to 65mg/dL, a value that works for me.

I considered eating lunch, but I wasn’t hungry after my large breakfast and I was feeling a little nauseated. I checked my blood at lunchtime and it was still consistent with my post-breakfast values.

Life was great…. I checked again at 4pm and my glucose registered at 45mg/dL. That can’t be right, so I did it again-39mg/dL and again, 45mg/dL. To say I was freaked out is an understatement. I immediately ate about 30g of sugar, and a half-hour later, I was back at 65mg/dL.

At this point, I knew I needed to eat dinner. I grabbed something close to work to give my body a chance to adjust before driving home. I ate a decent amount of carbs, but nothing excessive. I felt good and was ready to drive home.

I did well up until that point, and then I crossed over to the dark side….

On the way home, I start thinking, “I already failed my fast for today. I don’t know what’s going on with my body, but I have already “cheated,” so it’s okay to go all out and have some ice cream.”

What?!? Where did that come from. It’s like I was tempted by Satan himself! I’m already feeling sorry for myself and the fact that my plan failed. I’m afraid I ruined my dexascan and measurements for the next day, and I fall apart, giving into desires I know are bad for me.

The ice cream was good, but it was not good for me. I was previously in deep ketosis for some unknown reason. My insulin levels have been super low, even when I’m haven’t been fasting. My body was not prepared to deal with the influx of sugar I gave it. My blood glucose went crazy, swinging to the highest values I’ve ever seen – and staying there!!

I started measuring an hour after the ice cream, and continued until it was a value that didn’t scare me. What were they? 199mg/dL, then 200mg/dL an hour later. The next hour was 187mg/dL and then finally four hours after the sugar, I was at 134mg/dL That’s nothing to be proud of, but at least it’s a value I’ve seen before! The others were all new to me!

Leading by example means doing what’s right for my body, even when temptation takes over. I could have quit after eating dinner; I just chose not to. It’s okay though, as it was an important lesson to learn. Leading by example is choosing health over a short-lived pleasure that will harm my body.

I would never encourage someone to do what I did, so why would I do it? I never want to be the “do as I say, not as I do type.” I guess this was my first lesson in leading by example! I hope they’re not all as scary as this was.

By the way, things were better by the next morning. My glucose was at 96mg/dL and my ketones made sense again at 1.2mmol/L. More interestingly, my pulse increased with my increasing blood glucose and then fell back to normal as my glucose came down.  I have been seeing this trend with my pulse, but haven’t compared it to my blood sugar until this happened.  Now, I see it so clearly… and I worry that other times my pulse has gone crazy from poor eating, my blood glucose may have been out of control, but I just didn’t test it.

I read that people who produce little insulin may experience a fast heart rate with elevated blood sugar.  That’s exactly what seems to be happening to me, only I haven’t measured it before.  This is something I definitely need to keep an eye on.  I thought having an insulin level of 3.0mIU/mL was a good thing, but perhaps with great reward comes great responsibility.  It seems I have turned my body into a fat-burning machine, and now, bad things happen when I try to feed it sugar!  I think about that time I put 89-grade gasoline into my car that requires 89-grade or higher (trying to save a few bucks), when prior to that, all I ever used was 92-grade.  My car ran horribly, which continued for several tanks of 92-grade after, basically until I got that crap out its system.  I think it’s the same with my body.

I am able to regroup and move forward. I have new information that will change my decision making in these situations, now that I can clearly see the detrimental effect that eating too much sugar has on my body.  Now, I have to lead by example because I know too much…

2 thoughts on “What Leading By Example Is Not…

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