slim, healthy eating pre diabetic who has tried everything and HbA1c rising

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  • posted by worried
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    Hello
    I feel completely lost at the moment and dont know what to do about my situation and wondered whether anybody could give any pointers or encouragement etc.
    I am a 61 year old slim female with pre diabetes. I have always been slim (not skinny but just small boned etc). My whole adult life my weight has been steadfast between 8 and 8.5 stones. I do not have a sedentary job, I have always eaten healthily and i exercise. There is absolutely no family history of diabetes.
    (I am convinced the condition has been brought on through taking three prescription drugs in combination for 15 years. A beta blocker, duiretic and statin…..a time bomb and recipe for diabetes).
    I also believe this pre diabetes has been festering for many years. Looking back recently at online access results I had a fasting of 6 in 2012 but nobody alerted me to this fact. All tests have continued to be over 5.5. About two years or more ago I was called in to discuss a blood test result and was then told it was my fasting glucose level of 5.9 which i was told was perfectly normal. (i accepted this as I had no idea about blood glucose levels at that stage…and in retrospect, i was not even told, `look this is a bit high be careful….had i been told this at that stage i may have had more chance to turn this around as i believe there is a window of around 6 years to turn pre diabetes around before it progresses into full blown type two diabetes.
    They are now sending patients over 60 with hypertension for an HbA1c test…a new government incentive I believe. I had the test last october and was called in to be told that it was 6.1% and i was not glucose tolerant. Told that i needed to go to a session to educate me on healthy eating and weight loss etc (i was 8 stone and ate very healthily indeed and educated on nutrition . There is no way that I am going to attend anything that is part of the system and provided by the nhs. I personally feel that if you want to actually end up with diabetes then attend one and follow their unwanted advice.

    Immediately i dropped the diuretic and statin (the GP is okay with this and they were quick to drop them as well despite never admitting it was drugs) and the beta blocker was halved. I have been tried on other antihypertensives but have adverse reactions so on the half dose beta blocker only.
    I did eat carbs…..wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta etc etc………but dropped those immediately – also the fruit that i ate as i did eat a lot fo fruit. and I must admit that my diet is very much like the michael mosely diet……and it almost became ketogenic…..also jumping around more than ever.

    I lost a stone in the first two months….unintentionally but dropping carbs made the weight fall off……..the problem now is that i am only 7 stone and i look far too skinny…..i have to consciously not catch sight of myself when i shower and change as i am too skinny.
    I also started to add to my supplement regime…..fenugreek, biotin, chromium……cinammon….more magnesium etc….
    My diet – salmon – vegetables….eggs…organic grass fed beef…masses of nuts, avacados…olive oil drizzled over everything…chia seeds etc….etc…..i even dropped my beloved porridge…….recently added alpha lipoic acid and milk thisle to regine…….lots of green tea…….cows milk substituted with almond milk…..i reasearched and did everything in my power to turn this around.
    I tried on sunday….my only day off work to fast for as long as i could – usually cracking at around 4.00pm.

    I love food and have a good appetite and i do still eat plenty but the right things. I bought a blood tesing kit from boots and my post meals were very high – over the 8.5 cut off…….and this is after a healthy meal………..i got to a stage where i was afraid to eat anything…..I did everything in my power to turn it around……..and i knew that i had to act quickly.

    My problem is that i am now skinny having lost a stone (it never goes back on…stays steadfast at 7 stone…and i know its from cutting out wholemeal bread, pasta, potatoes etc etc….which i dare not eat)……..I have eaten ultra healthily over the last 5 months and my HbA1c has risen rather than fall……interestingly my fasting they did with the test on monday was 4.9 which is lower than its ever been for years.

    I am scared that the drugs have damaged my body so that it simply does not work properly…….in my heart i know it was never my lifestyle, eating habits or weight….no family history. I do get stressed out which i know does not help……..i am worried this have been left to fester for too long that this cannot be turned around…..there is no way i will ever go on a drug like metformin…..and i am just lost in all of this – i cannot make my diet any healthier and i cannot afford to lose any more weight….

    When i google or try to research anything about diabetes i just read over and over about how important weight loss is …but i cannot afford to lose any more…..i couldnt afford to lose any in the first place and i will admit that i am apple shaped and any weight does go to my tummy but i am sure that any possible surplus visceral fat is now gone.

    i dont know what to do…and i dont know whether the drugs have permenantly damaged my body so taht anything i try to do is futile. I do feel in my heart that had i been overweight and eaten unhealthily and didnt get much exercise,,,this would have been so much easier to try to turn around….(Surgery useless regarding any questions…..just want to point to your lifestyle and push the losing weight and healthy eating sessions which has filled me with fury….sorry…makes me so angry……my triglycerides are 0.5 does this not indicate to them that my diet is not the problem…..
    I am very scared as diabetes is the last thing that anybody needs……..i dont know what to do next to try to take control of this situation and improve things. I almost feel its too late.

    Can anybody advise please….can i turn this around and if so…how……

    sorry for rambling…….many thanks

  • posted by worried
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    apologies…my HbA1c is now 6.2% so has risen rather than fall despite all my efforts.

    Rosemary

  • posted by worried
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    sorry – my HbA1c is now 6.2% and i am worried that i am getting so close to full blown diabetes.

    thanks rosemary

  • posted by Mariet
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    Hi Worried, I am no expert but you mention you are eating low carb, have you been calculating your carbs? It certainly sounds like you don’t want to drop any more weight (7stone is tiny, even if you are short) but many people find they need to keep carbs <20g. I only mention it because you say you are an apple shape. I am not trying to lose weight any more but I’ve found that keeping carbs rigorously low has decreased midriff and belly fat which is where the fat that clogs the liver and pancreas lies. Even without losing weight, those measurements have continued to decrease. Otherwise I’m at a loss! What an exemplary diet and exercise lifestyle you already have.

    I am sure many others who have reversed diabetes will have more to contribute

    I hope you find some answers. Let us know how you get on.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi there, as you have not be officially diagnosed as diabetic then I would say 8.5 post food is quite normal. How soon after food are you checking. are you rechecking a couple of hours after that to see if it has gone back down. And 4.9 is a good result and quite normal for a non diabetic and 6.2 is still in the non diabetic range. Can I ask why your doctor keeps sending you for HbA1c tests, is he concerned you might slip into diabetes. You are probably right to worry about moving into full blown diabetes but no more than any other ‘healthy’ person should be as many people are ‘sleep walking’ into ill health without realising it. I think you main concern is excessive weight loss whilst trying to maintain a healthy carb free diet. Might I suggest that you eat the same but more. Throw in some healthy snack between meals and dont try to stick to 800 calories. Also dont worry about higher calorie high fat food like avocados and nuts, you will get the health benefits and add a few more calories. Maybe you could look at one of the threads for those on maintenance as they are still doing the diet but not wanting to lose anymore weight.

  • posted by SunnyB
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    Hi worried – I would say that as someone who is in the know when it comes to diabetic issues, the advice from sunshine-girl is solid and I too would suggest you check the ‘After reaching your target’ thread, where us maintainers hang out and report in. Think we have all found the secret to maintenance has been to increase the calories, whilst still keeping carb intake low. Sunshine-girl’s suggestion to increase your calories whilst keeping carbs low is a good one and if you can get the levels right, you should see an increase in weight whilst not messing with blood sugars – although as S-G points out, yours are actually not really an issue.

    You can easily increase calorie intake using healthy fats and proteins, which will not impact much (if at all) on your carb intake. However, do drop in for a discussion on the After Target thread though, as there are lots of people on there who are knowledgeable and keen to offer support. I’m sure you will find plenty of advice and assistance there.

  • posted by worried
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    Many thanks to everybody for your advice. I am very grateful . It is almost a relief to hear from people who completely understand.

    (sunshine girl) i dont test any more as it was taking over my life and making me more anxious about the whole thing….but i did test 2 hours after a meal and intially i got those 8.5 readings at that stage (2 hours after eating) but after three it had started to decrease.. I also found my levels were even higher when unwell, etc. Interestingly and i dont know whether this helps anybody….the meal that causes the very lowest rise in in glucose levels is simply salmon with broccoli and asparagus drizzled with olive oil…..not very filling and satisfying but safest meal for me.

    This is so nice that people understand with the weight loss thing as friends and family just feak saying that i cannot be eating enough which isnt the case. I have never dieted in my life and find it almost incredible that dropping carbs drops weight……i am however stuck at that 7 stones mark.

    Thank you again. I will definitely check out that maintence diet. You have also helped me calm down about the whole situation.

    Many thanks again and good luck and best wishes to everyone regarding those pesky blood sugar problems.

    rosemary

  • posted by Inka13
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    Hi Worried, the one piece of advice I can think of for healing the body is to watch Dr Jason Fung’s videos on YouTube. He is an advocate of fasting to heal the body as it clears out all the old damaged cells then when you eat again your human growth hormone is turned on, creating lots of lovely new healthy cells. He likes low carb and to eat well between fasts. It’s not just about weight loss but ‘resetting’ you body. There is so much incredible information on his website etc, you may find it helpful.
    Good luck!

  • posted by worried
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    Thank you so much. How strange though. I did watch him on youtube yesterday talking about insulin resistence and needing to fast etc….he explained it so plainly and clearly. I didnt realise he had a website. I will definitely look at this.

    Thank you again.

    best wishes rosemary

  • posted by worried
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    Hello

    Can I possibly ask others stance on this please. I followed Inka`s suggestion and looked into fasting and to be honest it seems the only way that i could possibly make any headway or have a hope of reversing this pre diabetes as i have done everything in my power. I also can see that you have to treat the disease…pre diabetes and not just the symptoms – the raised blood glucose problems.

    I asked a question to Jason Fung on the diet doctor website – explained tht i am now only 7 stones having dropped a stone on low carb…and his response (which i was expecting) was that he could not make any comment on personal questions (he will not respond to any personal medical questions understandably) but said that being underweight is relatively contraindicated in underweight people…..

    i still cannot see the harm in going longer before the first meal of the day…..sunday i did 2 hours from the meal the night before to the first meal on sunday….and all i intend is skipping breakfast and on sundays fasting for 24 hours..if i can hold on that long….i do eat very healthily outside of this and have a really good appetite….I cannot see the harm….can you??
    Also, to be honest there is so much talk about weight loss for people with diabetes that people of normal and small weight never seem to manage to get good advice……(i could put that stone back on very easily in about 2 weeks and love every moment of it…..but unfortunately my body would retaliate and my blood glucose levels shoot way up…..must confess i am hating this pre diabets thing…a complete misery and constant fear of it progressing to full blown type two diabetes…

    many tahnks

  • posted by cazcazt
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    Hi worried,
    I’m very interested to read your posts as your experiences are very similar to mine: low weight/BMI, healthy lifestyle and exercise levels but a HbA1c of 6.1%, both 3 months ago when this was first discovered, and same again recently after 3 months of a very low carb diet and 10lb weight loss, making me officially underweight. I’m just waiting for advice about the way forward from the local endocrinologist via my GP in case this could be developing LADA (I already have a slightly underactive thyroid which raises the risk). Since your last post was in March, I’d be very interested to know how you have progressed since then if you have time to give an update.

  • posted by worried
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    Hi cazcazt
    I had another HbA1c this week and i kept putting it off as so scared it may have risen even more but was delighted to see that it had come down slightly from the previous 6.2% to 5.9%. (I accessed my test results online with emis….next to the result it said that normal range is 4%-5.9%…so according to my surgery I am out of the pre diabetic zone but I personally think that I am still pre-diabetic and want to get it lower. My random was 4.7
    Like you I did the very low carb thing and exercised more and did everything in my power only to find the second test had inched up from 6.1% to 6.2% and i was so disheartened. Although i have not put any weight back on…not deliberately, I have just found that the weight has stayed off and i am skinny….I have introduced foods again thatt i initially cut out completely (waitrose do a very low carb bread called livlife….it isnt as nice as regular bread but allows you to actually have some bread and i have cheated along the way and will accept the odd piece of birthday cake etc…..and so i dont know whay at this stage it has gone down.
    I am wondering whether it took time to get some drugs out of my system completely that i feel in my heart have contributed to impaired glucose tolerance (although i do still take just a beta blocker..which can also precipitate things)…….
    I tried various things…..herbs and all sorts touted to lower BG levels initially but my HbA1c was higher on that higher test.
    I did start a supplement called zychrome about 4 months ago and also r-alpha lipoic acid and i put half a teaspoon of cinammon on my porridge…but i dont actually know why suddenly it has lowered a bit…..although in my opinion its still not a healthy level i am so relieved that it has lowered as the whole thing freaked me out…..like you I am slim etc etc and you feel this shouldnt be happening to you…very stressful too to be worrying so much about what you can and cannot eat etc…
    I also feel stress is so bad and it can raise BG levels and maybe, possibly i was sooo worried and stressed out by the whole thing that
    maye this is why my second test was higher….i honestly dont know.
    I hope that yours, too, lowers…i think its harder for people like us as we eat healthily and are slim so what can we do to turn it around.
    Can I ask what LADA is please….
    Maybe possibly it jsut needs some time……esp for slim healthy eating people….i feel that had we been overweight and eaten unhealthily we would have seen dramatic lowering jsut by losing weight and changing our diet…….Maybe for you as well it will just take a little more time….Dont despair………hopefully things will lower eventually. There was a lovely lady on here who made me stop panicking..she told me that 6.1% is barely pre diabetic etc……as i was soooo afraid this would be a slippery slope into diabetes with no going back
    I genuinely dont know much about the whole thing….and in fact i was going to come on here and ask others if 5.9% was still much too high…i am still worried and i feel in my heart that i might always have to be careful…..(i did also up my magnesium but i really dont know why it lowered a bit).
    I wish you all the best….they are very knowledgable on here and kind……..
    Please let us know how you are getting on……(so, basically, for me…it was 6.1% september of last year….(mental drastic diet etc etc and then march of this year it was 6.2% and then this week it was 5.9% and i had the odd piece of cake this time round).
    Best wishes Rosemary

    best wishes rosemary

  • posted by worried
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    I just googled LADA and now i am wondering whether i might have it too!!

  • posted by worried
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    Hi, could I ask anybody here what they think of an HbA1c of 41 5.9%……should i still be very worried?

    sunshine girl you were so kind and helpful to me earlier in the year and seem very knowledgeable……HbA1c was 6.1 then 6.2 and now 5.9 (random 4.7)…as you know skinny with healthy diet and very active…..thank you…..(i feel that below 5.5 is normal but my gp have normal range as 4 – 5.9%)…

    many thanks

  • posted by Jennie10
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    Hi worried
    I’m sure sunshine girl will be along soon. But just to let you know your GP is right. Below 6% (42) is in the normal range. Whatever you’re doing it’s working. Give yourself a big pat on the back. Congratulations. Keep doing what you’re doing.
    Sorry I’m on my way out right now, but just wanted to reassure you.
    Jennie xx

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi worried, I think you are just in the range of normal at 5.9 and will need to keep a check on your numbers, which is probably why the doctor is giving you HbA1c’s on a regular basis. Be grateful, some surgeries dont want to have the expense and only do annual test on diabetics. As I said in my earlier post, I think everyone should be reducing the amount of carbs they eat to prevent developing diabetes. In some ways you are lucky that you dont have to worry about your weight but that doesn’t mean you should be eating things like bread and pasta and, of course, that birthday cake which should be an occasional treat. There are other ‘carbs’ you can have which will keep your BG down and not lower your weight. You can munch away on a selection of nuts, add things like lentils and beans to your diet or other ‘fattening foods’ like avocados, be generous with oils and butter and cheese with oatcakes or even have porridge for breakfast every day if you want. You just have to work out what increases your BG and you probably already know that it is the white carbs and keep avoiding them. You mention that you have stopped various medications and you are right that some of them can be a precursor to diabetes, especially the statins. If you are managing your BP, cholesterol and BG without any meds you are doing pretty well. Try to relax a little bit (stress can also increase your BG) and just live your life with the awareness based on the knowledge you have about possible problems, the causes and what to do about them. But dont let possibles ruin your life. We can all be worried about ‘what ifs’ but it is not going to do us any good in the long run. Most of all, keep on keeping on…. There is always someone here to help you.

  • posted by worried
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    Jennie..thank you very much

    all the best

  • posted by worried
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    sunshine girl, thank you.
    Very kind of you. I do understand what you are saying. When I told my sister that my HbA1c had lowered..she said it was brilliant and now feels that i can eat all those restricted things at christmas with them..(as though i am cured) .bless her…
    The strange thing is that as it has lowered slightly it inspires you to be even more careful. I think the odd piece of cake etc before was because i felt that i had done everything in my power to lower things and been unsuccessful…so you think blow it and will have some of that forbidden fruit so to speak.
    I do want to see the numbers lower so will continue a really low carb diet whilst eating even more of those healthy fats.

    Thank you again and i hope that all is well with you.

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi again, things are fine with me. I dont post on here so often as, after nearly 3 years of it taking over my life, I just want to keep a balance, although I do look on every now and then and you are all getting on fine without me. My problem is my weight. Although not massive I could do with losing 2 stone, and having to balance my BG. As a full blown diabetic of 13 years I always have to fret over one thing or another, weight and BG numbers are always on my mind. Which I why I told you not to let it control your life, just take care. My downfall is wine. I am not an alcoholic but I do like a few drinks at the weekend. I started a new round of 8 weeks at the beginning of October and was really helped by also doing Sober October and my husband too, so I wasn’t tempted. Last night I had a couple of glasses of wine and, although my BG is only 5.0 my weight was up 2lbs. Always a balance.

    I know what you are facing with your family. My daughter always buys a massive pork pie at Christmas and I just cant resist. I ask her not to buy it as no-one ever has it at any other time of the year. She says ‘oh mum, it wont kill you’. Wrong, it will actually and I have to be super strong. I can live without bread (although the smell of toast drives me mad), l can live without rice and pasta and all the other white carbs but there are times when I think what the hell. I know it will take me 3 or 4 weeks to get my BG back down after several cheats over Christmas but I am only human. Hey ho, you know what I always say, keep on keeping on….

  • posted by worried
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    Hello sunshine girl
    Life isnt fair at times and i am so sorry that you have diabetes. Ido agree that you cannot let it take over your life and just need to take care whilst getting on with your life as worry will just make things worse.
    (when i was initially diagnosed with pre diabetes i went out and bought a testing machine and strips and that took over my life, made me very anxious..the evil bleep and then i had to peek with my hands over my eyes…..gp said i didnt need to test as it was only for those taking meds to check they werent hypo etc…..i ditched it 11 months ago and never ever test now as i think, it is what it is and i am doing all that i can anyway….so let it go.
    Everyone in my life says the same as your lovely daughter oh it wont kill you when cake etc is on offer (i think they want to see us enjoying life as they can) ……for me it probably wont but it must be so hard for you sunshine girl but you are so knowledeable about the condition and sound very practical as well…

    i hope you mange to lose some weight…..tiny bit here and there……i am lucky with my weight as i am naturally very slim and i think we are all different – but believe me i love food!!!
    I think the government are now paying GPs to screen for diabetes and treat those who are pre diabetic so i think that may be why i am sent for HbA1c..she said every 6 months. I work interviewing the public for a research company and i am astounded at how many people over a certain age are diabetic…..massive amount of people……..but one chap who was very very overweight and been diabetic for many years said that my GP shouldnt have frightened me with numbers like mine (i was petrified…but i am glad they did otherwise things could have got worse).
    Have a lovely christmas sunshine girl…….enjoy your odd glass of wine. I hope you meet your weight target…you can do it!! small steps. Thank you for your kindness and support..
    very best wishes rosemary

  • posted by worried
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    sunshine girl can i just mention something…..You said you like toast. There is a bread called livlife. All the larger waitrose sell it. I will admit that it isnt as nice as regular bread but for me, personally, its fine……its bread!!! Each slice is 3.8 carbs and around 2.3 fibre. I read a review of the bread by a young woman who uses insulin. She said that it did not spike her BG at all. Also I freeze it and toast it from frozen which makes it more starch resistent and less likely to cause BG rises…..just a thought …
    A sales assistant in waitrose told me that she developed diabetes whlst pregnant and this bread saved her life. x

  • posted by cazcazt
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    Thanks for your update, Rosemary – that’s very interesting. It seems that Type 2 is most often the assumed conclusion from raised blood glucose, especially in older people but, in an atypical presentation such as in lean, low BMI individuals, there is now recognition amongst professionals that this could be a different form of diabetes, hence my GP’s suggestion to investigate further, for which I’m grateful. When you have spent months on a very low carb diet (and know you have been counting accurately), have no further weight to lose and are otherwise healthy and active yet see no drop in blood glucose readings, it makes sense to explore other options. Some people have gone on for too long with an assumed Type 2 diagnosis and then discovered, often years later when damage has already been done, that they were actually Type 1. It’s worth doing the research on this. All the best.

  • posted by WoodDuckie
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    Hi there 🙂 Just enjoying my morning coffee and reading posts here . . . and found yours. I read with interest you have cinnamon in your porridge which I too used to do 🙂 This may not be the case for you, but after having breakfasts of oats for YEARS, when I started fingerprick testing for a window into my drastic HbA1c levels, I found my porridge of oats RAISED my BSL’s to astronomical heights!!! And this was dong this to myself every morning!!! Another acquaintance who doesnt appear to have BG problems but does have cholesterol issues . . . was advised to HAVE porridge and cholesterol problems have disappeared. So go figure 🙂 Just a thought or two which may answer a question or two 🙂 Good luck with your individual researching because, while we can all share info . . . we are all different in so many ways 🙂

  • posted by WoodDuckie
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    Hi there 🙂 Just enjoying my morning coffee and reading posts here . . . and found yours. I read with interest you have cinnamon in your porridge which I too used to do 🙂 This may not be the case for you, but after having breakfasts of oats for YEARS, when I started fingerprick testing for a window into my drastic HbA1c levels, I found my porridge of oats RAISED my BSL’s to astronomical heights!!! And this was dong this to myself every morning!!! Another acquaintance who doesnt appear to have BG problems but does have cholesterol issues . . . was advised to HAVE porridge and cholesterol problems have disappeared. So go figure 🙂 Just a thought or two which may answer a question or two 🙂 Good luck with your individual researching because, while we can all share info . . . we are all different in so many ways 🙂

  • posted by WoodDuckie
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    Hi Mariet 🙂 Randomly reading while having coffee laced with cream and have found great confidence from your March posting 🙂 After 5 months of BSD, and halving of my HbA1c in just three, I too have seen weightloss stagnate, but seems inches – with almost undetectable stealth, are secretly, slowly still departing my middleground without fanfare 🙂 I was wondering how could that be . . . but will now say “Thank you” and keep doing what Im doing 🙂 I was a bit at 6’s and 7’s this week with a few matters not measuring up to things that have happened in the previous 5 months . . . so thats been a huge positive confirmation Im not in a canoe on my own to me today 🙂

  • posted by sunshine-girl
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    Hi worried, I said I like the smell of toast. I also love walking past the boulangerie section of my local hypermarche, hence, I dont live in the Uk and we dont have Waitrose. The problem with finding a substitue is that it takes you back to eating something you have had to wean yourself off of and bringing back the carb cravings – for any carb – not just bread. In my life I just dont have it, end of problem but it does smell nice. If I could have any carb from my past life it would be a jacket potato with lashings of butter and Cheddar cheese. If only but I know where that would lead.

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