Margaret’s Story: Numbers Don’t Lie

A discussion of the 11th boundary helped us all make distinctions about what we could reasonably expect from a support group and what we needed to do with medical practitioners. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to distinguish which issues I should be addressing with my doctor and which ones I should address on my own. I have thyroid problems and had just crossed over into type 2 diabetes at the time I started Suppers. I am conscientious about my appointments and have good relationships with the doctors who care for me. I’m also a do-it-yourselfer, and my inclination is to do everything I possibly can myself.

I did not care at all for those high fasting blood sugars. For that problem I decided to do as much as I possibly could on my own before seeking out pharmaceutical solutions.

At my Suppers meeting, nobody would tell me what changes would improve my numbers, but they did suggest experiments. To make a long story short, my self-observations revealed that if I traded most of the fruit I was eating for lentils or a small portion of meat, my numbers got better. For years I’d been eating lots of fruit because I thought it was healthy. But giving it up, I lost 10 pounds, all of it in the mid-section. My endocrinologist actually asked me what I was doing because my blood sugar normalized, my thyroid readings improved somewhat, and my triglycerides went down.

This didn’t make sense to me. Fruit is health food and I love it. But numbers don’t lie, and neither does my belt. After conducting several months of experiments, the conclusion I’ve come to is that I will deal with as many of the issues of advancing age as possible by staying curious, running experiments, and seeking solutions in my lifestyle. And when healthy change is not enough – dealing with my thyroid problem, for example – I can rely on medical practitioners and be grateful to live in a time when pharmaceutical solutions are available.