My personal journey with insulin resistance weight loss and how I’m approaching this obstacle on my healthy living journey! Sharing my supplements, diet, exercise and mindset tips for dealing with insulin resistance.
Insulin Resistance Back Story
True confession: I’ve been pretending like a problem didn’t exist for a long time. Back in April of last year I had some bloodwork done with my doctor because I was struggling to lose weight despite doing all the “right things” like eating healthy, tracking calories, and working out regularly.
When the bloodwork came back it revealed that I had high insulin levels which basically meant it was hard for me to lose weight and I was on the path to Type 2 Diabetes.
That’s kind of a rough word for a girl whose main motivation for healthy living was to NOT get Type 2 Diabetes someday. (It’s highly prevalent in my family.) So the Dr. prescribed me metformin (pretty standard issue) and told me I may need to decrease my calories even more in order to lose weight.
Well, I took the metformin and it didn’t seem to make a difference, but I continued on counting calories (or some version thereof) all summer. I embraced a “balance mentality” which meant that I could have a hard cider or glass of wine a couple times a week, eat pizza once or twice a week and just buy whole grain or healthier versions of my favorite foods or just eat a little less of them.
But guess what? Nothing changes if nothing changes and ignoring the truth doesn’t make it any less true.
My Healthy Tipping Point
So as of last week (when a trip to Pizza Hut gave me severe stomach pain for 2 days) I decided enough was enough. Pretending like I didn’t have a problem with eating highly- processed carbs and delicious dairy wasn’t making it any LESS TRUE. I was just miserable in the process.
Pretending like I didn’t have pre-diabetes (so I didn’t need to take my supplements and medication and I could chow down on pizza and cinnamon breadsticks) didn’t make the fact that I HAVE high insulin untrue.
It’s still true, whether I embrace it or not.
My Insulin Resistance and Weight Loss Mindset
In therapy there is a thing called Radical Acceptance. We often think that by accepting something it means we approve of it and are okay with it. But acceptance simple means we are going to acknowledge and accept reality. We aren’t going to fight it or pretend like it’s not there or judge it or be angry at it or setup camp in the “it’s not fair” campground.
“Acceptance also doesn’t mean throwing our hands up in the air or waving a white flag. To the contrary, once we accept reality, we can consider if we’d like to change it. We can say: “OK, this exists. This is happening or happened. How do I want to handle it?”
In other words, practicing acceptance actually leads the way to problem solving.” –Source
The longer I spend wrestling with reality, the longer I stay stuck. But when I accept and acknowledge what IS I can move forward into what’s NEXT.
Things I’ve Learned About Insulin Resistance
I’ve been researching a lot about insulin resistance and while some information is conflicting I’ve learned a lot and I’m going to KEEP learning!!
- One of the best ways to reduce insulin levels is to lose weight. But having insulin resistance makes it much harder to lose weight!! (Science info for fellow nerds!) So it’s kind of a catch 22. If insulin resistance is left unchecked it can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and other medical conditions.
- Insulin resistance is often tied to stress and lack of sleep. Higher cortisol levels triggers cells to flood the body with insulin and over time insulin resistance develops.
- An anti-inflammatory diet can be helpful in treating insulin resistance.
- Supplements can be key in helping address nutritional deficiencies, but there are a lot of conflicting info about what supplements are best! And I think that each individual person needs unique supplementation so some things work better than others for each person. I’m still working on figuring out what is most helpful to me!
Insulin Resistance Resources
Losing 100 Pounds (soo much amazing mindset stuff!)
I’ll keep adding resources as I use and find them!
RELATED: MY FAVORITE HEALTHY LIVING RESOURCES
Steps I’m Taking to Lose Weight with Insulin Resistance
Like I said earlier, I am done pretending like everything is fine when it isn’t. I’m accepting the reality of insulin resistance and ready to move forward and have the most healthy, vibrant life that I can have!
- I am currently avoiding all alcohol and dairy to calm the inflammation in my body.
- I am eating less gluten and making sure that my meals carb count and glycemic index load are low. (I am basically following the carb counts from when I was on a Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan)
- I am exercising regularly for both the physical and mental health benefits. I’ve also been focusing on strength training, walking, and yoga.
- I am treating it with an array of supplements to help combat any nutrient deficiencies. (I’ll share more of those in a future post!)
- I am journaling and yoga-ing and deep breathing to cope with stress. Also tea, tea is calming.
- I am reading and learning a lot about pre-diabetes, PCOS, and other inflammation based diseases. (I really want to know WHY my insulin is elevated–not just that it is)
- I am leaning deeply into the Holy Spirit and learning a lot about self control during this time.
It’s hard for me to share all this with you WITHOUT a nice tie up at the end saying that I’ve implemented these changes for 4 weeks and have lost 20 pounds and am a success story for you to follow.
But I’m not.
I’m a work in progress story.
Through this whole insulin resistance and weight loss thing I’m leaning into the grace and grit to being a work in progress. Grace is patience with myself and the learning process. Grace is kindness to ourselves when we give in or feel like giving up. Grit teaches us that we can do hard things. We are tough and stronger than we know. We can say yes to a healthy smoothie and no to a cinnamon roll.
Living our lives with joy and intention (aka chasing vibrance) isn’t instantaneous and it may not read like an instant success story, but it is a journey full of grace and grit and you and I are more than capable of walking this road.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read and learn about my journey with insulin resistance weight loss! I’m excited to share more of my journey with you! Follow along on instagram to stay up to date with how this looks in my day to day life!
P.S. Just because I am working to be a healthier version of myself does not mean that I hate my current self or am mean to my body or am unhappy. My joy is not rooted in my pant size or what I’m eating for dinner tonight. My joy is tethered to Jesus and my friendship with Him. I hope yours is too.
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