You’ve heard it before, and I’m sure you will hear it again but the saying is so true I can’t help but repeat it. “Never judge someone, you don’t know what battle they are silently fighting”

This statement is so true for so many. I too fight a daily battle behind the scenes and it’s not until recently that I started really talking about it. Its not like its something to be embarrassed of, but I just feel like its a huge pain in the ass and no one else needed to share in that. Not to mention how difficult it is to explain to people. Hypoglycemia, “Oh, you mean you’re diabetic?” No, If I was diabetic that’s precisely what I would have told you. Hypoglycemia is something that effects your glucose levels, yes but not in the way that diabetes does. Plus there are no medicines available to correct this. There are many different types of Hypoglycemia as well. Reactive is what I suffer from, meaning I have recurrent episodes of sugar spikes and/or low blood sugar. My body reacts differently than most and when it has an excessive amount of insulin my pancreas releases more insulin causing symptoms within as soon as 15 minutes of eating but continuing past the digestion and disposal of the glucose from the meal. You pair this with my already high metabolism (thanks Daddy) and its a very large struggle.  A struggle to feel well, a struggle to be healthy. If I miss a meal, or make a wrong choice with what I eat it can ruin my entire day. And when I say that I mean I’m dizzy, lethargic, nauseous, weak, shaky, have a head ache and its almost impossible to concentrate on anything, can’t function. –Next time you tell me that you wish you had  the same problem I do remember that. Tell me if you would enjoy puking up stomach bile every morning because of the overwhelming nausea, or how it would feel to never be able to eat pasta or a piece of chocolate cake without feeling like the life was sucked out of you 10 minutes after enjoying that treat. I try not to get aggravated with people when they respond to my eating habits with that response because I know that its just that 90% of people are uneducated about the problem that I have or don’t know how real it is (the struggle is real, ha)

How do I fix it you ask? Well it is 100% controlled by my diet and eating habits. And that has been nothing but 10 years of trial and error to see what works and what doesn’t. Everyone’s body is different. Foods effect everyone’s body’s differently. A little over a year ago I got sick, ended up in the hospital for a week and during that time frame I lost 20 pounds.  I looked so sickly it was terrible. I was determined at that point to change my eating habits and gain it back. After a lot of research and talking with doctors and dietitians and nutritionists I started to figure it out. Again, after a lot of trial and error to find what worked with my body.
I learned so much, I began I huge journey to find a healthy me.
I learned that my body digests food so quickly that it runs out of a fuel source fast and uses my muscle/fat to fuel itself..hence the rapid weight loss and constant fatigue.
I learned that processed foods makes me exhausted, the way they are broken down in my body makes my glucose levels very unstable and I feel like a zombie after eating them.
I learned that taking supplements and drinking protein shakes does NOT make up for those foods in your diet. I always thought I was doing so good because I took a supplement or drank a juice that provided my recommended daily dose of fruits or veggies. Wrong! That does not give you the nutrition that your body truly needs.  Since I started making weekly trips to the produce stand to buy fresh fruits and veggies, I can tell a giant difference in the way I feel each day
I learned that I CAN eat fruit. I always thought Fruit = Sugar. And I’m not saying it doesn’t, but each fruit and veggie have different glycemic index. Which means that they effect your blood glucose levels different percentages. (google this, its pretty damn interesting honestly) So I enjoy berries and peaches and pears every day!
Basically now I always eat a protein with a vegetable and a complex carb. I don’t ever eat regular carbs, otherwise its straight to bed for me!  Meal prepping is the key to sticking this.  It took me 6 months to gain back the 20 pounds I had lost when I was sick. That is 180 days to gain back the weight that it only took me 5 days to loose. <<That still amazes me.
I have continued to gain weight and am now the heaviest I have ever been, and all completely on purpose. I want to be fit and active and healthy. Something I have not been since I was in high school. So in order to be able to work out and live an active lifestyle I had to put on a significant amount of weight before I could even start.
“Just eat Big Mac’s every day, that will do the trick”  <<<< This is the advice I get from people who just don’t get it.
Thank God for the internet and a few very inspirational people I have found along the way, otherwise I would have been a little lost about the “right way” to gain this weight. I started wearing a fitness band and tracking my steps per day, which in turn calculates how many calories I burn per day (while at a rest and while active) and I focus on eating 500 more calories per day than what I am burning. My typical calorie intake is between 2500 – 3000 daily. I eat approx 200 grams of protein and keep my sugars below 40 grams.
That is what works for me. I’ve learned the meals and snacks and things that work best for my lifestyle and what fuels my body’s needs.

Moral of the story, (if anyone actually read through this whole take some invested time in YOU. in YOUR health. Learn your body and what it takes to make you feel good, feel healthy. Sure we all have ailments or obstacles that get in our way, but with some time and dedication you can be a better you 🙂

© 2015 Jamie Thurber. @jmeirene. All Rights Reserved

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