3 Months Later...
Just over 3 months ago I started on this Banting journey feeling rather overwhelmed at the level of change I was about to make and with no small amount of trepidation.
But with 3 months under my ever loosening belt I can look back over a time that can be called nothing but life changing.
I’m writing this as a follow up to my original blog post when I started this blog, because last week was my 3 month checkup with my incredible doctor and I wanted to share how much things have changed in such a short space of time.
As of the time of writing this post I am 18kg’s lighter than when I started but I have seen changes in areas I would never have expected and some that I was completely unaware were even linked to my insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome.
It’s not really something people want to hear but for the sake of transparency and painting a complete picture I’m going to share this with you. For most of my adult life I have struggled rather severely with IBS. It became a part of my daily routine and was so bad at times that I would have to map out where the bathrooms might be if I was going out for the night or on a long car journey for instance. People who know me well can testify to the fact that I would often go missing for 10-20 minutes whenever we’d go anywhere. But within one month of Banting my IBS had disappeared completely. I mean, vanished. For me, the difference is like night and day and if for no other reason than just this one change I will keep Banting for the rest of my life.
Another big change to an obscure problem is that I used to also suffer from terrible heartburn/gastric reflux and it would often keep me up at night. If I didn’t have any Gaviscon nearby I could only fall asleep sitting upright, and then only sometimes. This too has absolutely vanished and I don’t think I’ve had a single night of heartburn/gastric reflux since I started on this journey.
My sleeping has improved on average (although I never really struggled with sleep to begin with) and I mainly see the differences in the mornings. I used to wake up every day feeling groggy and hitting the snooze button for an hour until I had to get out of bed or be late for work. Now I’m finding myself up an hour earlier every morning and not feeling so groggy anymore.
In terms of the changes in my blood tests here is a breakdown of the most important stats:
Blood Test Results :
When I began :
Insulin Levels : 19.4
Fasting Glucose : 5.0
HDL Cholesterol : 1.1
LDL Cholesterol : 3.3
Cholesterol Overall : 4.8
Vitamin D : 28 (partial deficiency)
3 Months Later :
Insulin Levels : 13.8
Fasting Glucose : 5.1
HDL Cholesterol : 1.0
LDL Cholesterol : 3.3
Cholesterol Overall : 5.0
Vitamin D : 33.5 (optimal level)
This is great news as we need to get that insulin level below 10, so the trend is looking good in that coming down. My cholesterol has stayed fairly static which in some regards is a good thing (although I need to increase my healthy HDL) as some people experience sharp spikes in cholesterol when first coming into the Banting way of life.
What is also great news for me is the upward swing in my vitamin D levels, it has been such a noticeable change in me as Vitamin D is very important in stabilizing moods.
I went through a mild depression about 3 years ago and in the middle of that my Vitamin D levels were at around 18. Bearing in mind that 25-29 is considered a deficiency then you can see how bad things were. Having taken Vitamin D supplements it had raised itself up to 28 by the time my first tests were taken, which was better but still not optimal. Since I’ve started Banting I’ve stopped taking the supplements and my body is seemingly better at absorbing Vitamin D naturally now and has increased even more into the optimal range. I have noticed a big change in my moods leveling off in the past months and I believe this may have something to do with it.
So overall I’m ecstatic at the progress I’ve made over the last 3 months and I hope that my story is in some way inspiring to you. If for nothing else, this journey is teaching me that I am capable of sticking to something long term. It’s strengthening that area of my character as well and I’m seeing the benefits of this spilling over into other areas of my life now that I have the confidence in my own abilities to stick with things.
I don’t feel it’s any exaggeration to say that this may very well be the best thing that’s ever happened to me, not only with regards to my physical and mental health but also in terms of shaping the man that I am becoming.