Amy kills two birds with one stone …
When I consulted dietitian Johanna Burani about my weight and my diabetes, I weighed in at 320 pounds and I am only 5 foot 7 inches (giving me a scary BMI of 50) – yes, I had trouble walking and even getting out of bed! My doctor was not optimistic about what the future held unless things changed as there's diabetes on both sides of the family. I really hoped there'd be a way to control it naturally. I am not a 'pills' person, and was already taking blood pressure medication and was not happy about that at all.
I knew I simply had to straighten out my diet and the big incentive was when my doctor told me I could come off Glucophage if I lost weight and kept it off. So I started walking for 45 minutes in my lunch hour and lost 36 pounds. But I always felt hungry and the temptation to grab a cake or donut or chocolate candies to snack on was constant, and all too often I gave in and raided my boss' candy dish in the afternoons. And all too soon the weight started coming back on.
So I decided to consult a dietitian. When I first saw Johanna, she asked me to construct a 24-hour food and drink diary. It's not as easy as it sounds! I had never really thought about portions. I just ate what I was served – or as much food as I felt like. But I am not a fussy eater at all and I love my fruits and vegetables. What did become clear was that I was eating far too many 'gushers' (high GI foods).
Johanna explained that she could probably 'kill two birds with one stone' – that is she could help me lose weight and control my blood glucose levels naturally! So we put together a game plan that I could stick to. Essentially all I had to do was exchange my quickly digested carbs for more slowly digested ones. This meant I had to decrease the high GI fruits and replace them with trickler fruits; breads had to be whole grain (with lots of grainy bits) and my evening meal would consist of smaller starch and protein portions with half my plate covered in vegetables.
Amazingly Johanna said that this might be all I would have to do (as well as some exercise and drinking lots of water). I have to say I couldn't believe it; but it was virtually all I had to do! I signed up at a women's only gym near where I worked doing both cardiac and resistance training for 45 minutes most lunchtimes and stuck to my low GI ‘trickler’ diet. In a little over a year I lost 118 pounds – and after the first 50 my doctor took me off blood pressure medication! My most recent bloodwork shows a 31 percent jump in my good HDL cholesterol; a 74 percent drop in triglycerides and a 26 per cent drop in mean glucose levels. So I got my wish – no medication and a nice bonus – no joint pain. I also got back my life. I workout six days a week and I really love my spinning classes. In fact I am thinking of becoming a spinning class instructor – part time of course.
– From Good Carbs, Bad Carbs by Johanna Burani, published by Marlowe & Company and reproduced with Amy’s and Johanna’s permission.