Dr. Michael Moseley is my diet guru. I haven’t always thought so, especially in those first few days of doing the 8-week blood sugar diet. Oh my God, the hunger in those first couple of days. Honestly, if I could have cut off and eaten my left arm (I broke it a few years back, so I know I can pretty much cope without it!) then I would definitely have done so. They say that in most people the hunger vanishes within 48 hours. I would say it is more like 72-96 hours, but still, much to my surprise, the hunger DID vanish. I also did my best to stay busy and stay focused on other things rather than food, which definitely helped. It also helped that I had 2 things to look forward to. One was my birthday party at the end of January and another was a weekend away at the end of February to a restaurant with rooms and where the food is amazing. That would be the treat for the end of the 8 weeks and was I looking forward to it!
We started on a Sunday, so it was a day off work and we went out that morning and bought the diet milkshakes from a well-known brand, which “works for me”. We decided to go for the ready-made little bottles, as they were already measured out and tasted better than mixing up our own. I was going to have 2 of those a day and then a meal of starchy vegetables at night. To save ourselves sitting around and moping over what we couldn’t eat we went out with the doggy to a local town. Now, normally on a visit to this town we would go to a very good fish and chip shop, so this was probably too big a test on the first day, but we had to see if we could resist. If not, we might as well give up now and go home. We took the doggy with us and walked for a good mile/mile and a half before going back to the car, which was parked near the chippy. I tested my husband’s resolve. It was torture being so close to the chippy. I could smell it…. one more meal from there wouldn’t hurt, would it? And then we could start tomorrow? I was angry and relieved in equal measure when he said no. Angry because I could really have done with a big sausage supper but relieved as I knew he was stronger than me and could be trusted to be my guardian of bad food decisions. I needed him to be strong and be the one to tell me “No” even though I might hate him at times for it.
We had bought a load of veg that day to make up some sort of dinner from it. I am not the cook in this marriage, so I left it up to my husband to worry about the details. There were recipes in the blood sugar diet book, with a surprising amount of variation. First night dinner was a zero-calorie vegetable soup. It was really tasty and it did fill me up at the time. As the night went on, though, it was increasingly obvious that this was not going to see me through until the next morning. What else could I eat? Basically, the diet avoids everything apart from veg for the first while anyway, so there was no snack I could eat. Hubby gave me another bowl of soup. Lovely! Soup before bed – I’d never had that before! Bedtime. Normally I would have a cup of tea and a cake/biscuit but that was a no-no. I was also going to try to avoid caffeine for the duration of these 8 weeks and the carbohydrates were definitely out. I tried to go to sleep and ignore the grumbling, growling stomach. Two long hours I tossed and turned. I think I saw pretty much every hour on the clock until at least 4am. Thank goodness I was off on the Monday too. I did manage to get some sleep, but only because I was sooooo tired I could not have kept my eyes open!
Monday morning, hubby went off to work and I was left facing the day on my own and making my own food choices. Not good! I had also planned to meet my cousin at a shopping centre and we would normally go for lunch. Aaaargh! How would I get around this? I decided that I would tell my cousin about the diabetes, as I knew she would be supportive. She had also been clean-eating and been doing loads of exercise and I knew I could rely on her not to say anything to anyone about the diagnosis. When we met, straight away I told her as normally we would have been straight into Costa for a latte and a cake! Instead we ended up going to Pret a Manger and I had miso soup and water. Unheard of! If anyone else had seen this they would know that something was going on as this was the opposite of my normal behaviour! I can’t say I was 100% convinced by the miso soup, but it wasn’t disgusting so at least it was another option.
That night was pretty much the same in terms of sleeplessness. I almost never suffer from insomnia. The only other time I have not been able to sleep was when my dad was diagnosed with cancer when I had so much running through my mind that I just could not sleep. This was “just” hunger. I could get through this. I thought about going back to work next day and how I was going to get around this. People notice things at work, like if you are not drinking tea or eating the copious amounts of chocolates, cakes and biscuits that seemed to appear in our office. It is a constant source of temptation! I would have to be sneaky to get though it without being noticed. But I would do it. Not just talk about it. DO IT.
Next: Surviving Starvation