How Gestational Diabetes Changed My Life

My family so far

My family so far

I was recently (in the last couple of months) diagnosed with gestational diabetes, or, diabetes when pregnant. I knew there was a potential risk for me, as I am over 3o and have diabetes in my family history.

This means that while I’m pregnant, the hormones are wrecking a little havoc. They have decided that my body will have more difficulty controlling blood sugar levels because I’m having trouble producing insulin, or my tissues are having trouble absorbing it. Pregnant women need extra insulin to help produce a baby, and so guess who gets first dibs?

Not me.

Since finding out the diagnoses, I’ve been on a pretty serious adventure, and this adventure will continue for me. Here’s the order of events I’ve been through so far.

THE PURGE

It was far too important to me that my baby was healthy. If I had too much sugar it was going to travel through the placenta to my boy … and no, I wasn’t having that. Also, I had a family member with diabetes and saw what they had to go through, as well as the sister of a childhood friend. It’s a hard yakka disease. I knew if I didn’t change, the chances of me getting it later in life would increase dramatically.

SO

Firstly, I threw out everything in my cupboard that had more than 10 grams of sugar per serve. WOW! This was a huge eye-opener for me. The thing that shocked me most was MILK.

Yes, my beloved milk, even the ‘light’ stuff contains 12.5 grams of sugar per serving. Truly, check your fridge.

Now, if I calculate this correctly, it meant that I was consuming A LOT of hidden sugar. I’d have cereal, a glass of milk, milk in my coffee, maybe a milo … all this sugar I didn’t know I was having on top of the other stuff has been killing me! No wonder I’ve struggled on and off with my weight. I’ve only ever looked at fat consumption. Not only that, but I honestly thought I was choosing healthy food for my family. ARGGH!!!!

Even the honey got thrown out. Now don’t get me wrong, I know honey is good for me, especially my gorgeous Manuka, but I can’t have it my house … at least for a while.

Charlotte and I

Charlotte and I

But oh dear, then I kept looking, and I was so shocked to find sugar in the strangest of places. I had to throw out half my cereal (supposedly good cereals from the health food section) fruit and nut bars, all sorts of things. There’s so much sugar in the pasta sauce I was using, I almost went into a sugar coma reading the nutritional panel.

Never before had I realised that Australians consume so much sugar on a daily basis (and more than likely don’t realise). No wonder we suffer from obesity in this country.

THE ADDICTION

The first thing I noticed after the purge was that I had been an addict and didn’t even know it. I started craving sugar.

I looked at the big signs at the service station ‘pushing’ their sugary treats. Chocolates, fizzy drinks, and donuts, all of a sudden looked so good. THESE were things I didn’t even notice before because I had been getting my sugar in other places. Now they were screaming at me!

How could I live my life without sugar?

It was futile.

I might as well give up now.

No, it really wasn’t that hard. Luckily for me, I have a little baby to think about. The choice between his health and a candy bar hasn’t been a choice at all.

Now, it’s really easy. I don’t even have sugar in my coffee anymore. And truth be told, I don’t miss it too much. Give me another few months and I don’t think I’ll miss it at all. In fact, I had a taste of hubby’s White Chocolate Fusion from Zarrafas the other day (something I used to spoil myself with once a fortnight or so) and it tasted like sugary puke.

THE UNDERSTANDING

At 5 months

At 5 months

After the purge and the realisation that I was an addict, came the understanding that knowledge is power in this situation.

A friend offered me the book “Sugar Dreams” by Gold Coast author, Monica Colmsjo. SEE IT HERE.

It confirmed many things for me. Mainly that SUGAR IS A DRUG.

It comes from a plant and is made into the form of little white crystals, like many other drugs. It behaves the same way as a drug, and kills you slowly. Some people are easily addicted, others not so much.

Oh and take a look at who is running the show: http://www.daff.gov.au/agriculture-food/crops/sugar

Ha! Why doesn’t this surprise me?

No wonder they changed the name from Sugar Diabetes to Type one and two.

Now I’m on a bit of a mission to educate myself about health. If you can recommend any good books, or clean eating recipes, please do so below!

THE OTHER SYMPTOMS

At my last obstetrician appointment I had a huge realisation. He asked me about all of my ‘other’ symptoms and we noticed that many problems I had been having (some all my life) had disappeared, after a few short months of ‘sugar watching.’

Weight

I’ve lost weight, despite being pregnant. I had some to lose, so this is a positive. Could this mean I’ve finally found the key to a healthy, normal weight? That would be good. Thanks, Universe.

Migraines

Dramatically reduced. I’ve had migraines since I was 8. I have always known they had a connection to sugar because if I ate too much obvious sugar, I’d get one. Now, about that not so obvious stuff, well, I just didn’t know.

Kidneys

My poor kidneys have suffered since I was little. No one has ever figured out why I had to urinate like crazy some days TMI, I know, but this is a health blog. I’ve been peeing in a cup since age 7 with doctors shaking their heads with no idea what was wrong with me. I even had an infection and ended up in hospital when I was 15. Now? I pee like a normal person. Well, a normal PREGNANT person.

There are more things I could add to this list, but I don’t want to embarrass myself any further with a medical history. Let’s just say, sugar had such a negative effect on my body. I’m sorry, body, please forgive me.

My Charlotte

My Charlotte

THE LOVE and THE POWER

For me, Gestational Diabetes has been a blessing in disguise. It’s changed my life, and I’ll never look back. For the love I have for myself and my family, these changes will be forever. There’s a certain power you get back from kicking a habit, any habit at all; a feeling of gaining back control. There’s something healthy and rewarding about saying no.

I’m sober 2 months now.

For those of you struggling with weight, or other illnesses, I suggest looking to see if you’ve formed a habit of your own. It’s easy to do, especially when the whole world tells you that ‘sugar is natural.’ My response now is, ‘so is heroin, darling.’

I’d love to hear your stories, so please feel free to comment!

PEACE

Hayley M Clearihan

SUBSCIBE HERE

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “How Gestational Diabetes Changed My Life

  1. I’m so glad to hear you’ve found a way to cut your consumption and make yourself so much healthier and fitter in the process. Maybe you’ve given me the kick start yo behave a little better from now on.
    xxx Huge Hugs and Good Luck with the baby xxx

  2. We cut sugar out, oh, six years ago or so. Just added sugar, that’s the actual issue. Some foods, like fruit, contain sugar, but that’s not the same kind of stuff as processed sugar, and it’s the processed stuff that’s like cocaine (I say that because, unless you’re drinking milk with -added- sugar, your milk is probably okay). I grew up drinking soda, so quitting soda was hard for me to come to grips with, but it was easier than I thought, although I did get urges for it occasionally for the next couple of years. Anyway, dropping sugar (even if my kids don’t really appreciate it) made a huge difference (I think I have a couple of old blog posts about it) and I lost a lot of weight without trying.

    • I totally understand where you are coming from with milk. But for me, I was overindulging. I still have my cereal and coffee, but I don’t skull a glass or two randomly anymore. I’ve just become more conscious. And well done to you! You are setting your family up for a healthy life.

  3. Dear HMC
    First wonderful piece> Although gestational diabetes is rare among my sex, I discovered type 2 Adult onset a few years back after my 90 year old father was discovered to have this affliction.

    • Wasn’t done responding! Like other addictions, this affliction is self induced. I unfortunately did not catch it in time and I have had strokes and hospitalized last July with acute pancreatitis (sp). I went on a food rampage and with the help of Vertigo from the strokes (throwing up for a year) I manged to “DROP” 100 pounds and maintain that weight. I cut out sugar. Not all sugar. Not fruit, not carrots, not grains that will turn to sugars but I had to give up my bagels and reduce my breads (that hurt worse than sweets)
      I live with a relatively skinny Lucky Charms, Trix, Licorice, Ice Cream eating Evil Bunny who must be blessed by a different metabolism. I have cut down my sugar, cut down my processed foods, my blood sugar has dropped and I cut my Diabetes meds in half and may go one more round BUT you are so correct when you talk about how they addicted us and spiked so much of what we eat, with stuff that will kill us faster than if we just wear out with age.
      By the way, I told my now 94 year old Dad to screw it and eat donuts and the like, He is 94. Really is he going to live to 150?
      Anyway thank you and best of wishes. Don’t forget that Agave is sugar and I had to look up yakka. It said “Work, strenuous labour. Also used as a verb meaning ‘to work’. The word is used especially in the phrase hard yakka. ”
      Hugs from the desert!

      • WOW! Thank you for sharing this. I had no idea there were so many other people I knew that were struggling. And well done!
        HAHA yes, hard yakka is an Aussie term we use often 🙂
        Glad to hear you are doing so well.
        EVIL SUGAR.
        LOL we are making amends slowly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s