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Hi, My Name’s Jen And I’m A Low-Carber.

It struck me yesterday that the main reason I started all this was to document my journey from Queen of Bread to low-carb city. I’ve been side-tracked somewhat by regurgitating my experiences of the endless complexities of living with diabetes, which seem to have tickled some people and opened the eyes of others (A.Maz.Ing). I never realised quite how much there is to tell, I’ve touched on very few, very specific episodes in Jen’s Diabetes Saga. It really is a saga. I should rebrand myself as JennyEnders or something. I’ve had Type 1 for 14 years now, and up until this point just plodded along with it; sometimes well and sometimes very badly. Suddenly it’s like I’ve opened Pandora’s Type 1 Box. I’m stepping back, taking stock and looking from the outside in at my insulin-laced existence. Slightly less insulin-laced these days, thankfully. There are so many more embarrassing stories I have in the last week started to remember, and feel compelled to share – in their full warts-and-all glory. If I can help others while I’m feeding you this rambling guff then that’s worth embarrasing myself for. Plus, I’m not really acquainted with shame, so fasten your seatbelts! That, or get the sick bag ready.

I’ve been living my new, reformed low-carb life now for seven days, and so this is probably a nice little milestone to stop and take stock of the past week. Which then paves the way for quietly getting on with life sans potatoes, and instead filling this site with aforementioned shameful shameless posts. Low-carbing has already become the chorus-line; personal experiences the star. Because, what is life without experience? I can number crunch all I want, but it ain’t gonna make for fun reading. And I don’t want to scare you off just yet. Although a week-long relationship is pretty successful by my standards…

When I started this just seven days ago (yes, that really is all it’s been. Apologies), I’d done enough prep akin to a hormone-fuelled teenager getting ready for a first date. Books, forums, fellow diabetics – I’d quizzed them all. Maybe it was said prep, plus a dash of careful planning, but I honestly was expecting a much bigger fallout from giving up my beloved pizza and the like. I’ve been waiting for my body to recoil in horror at the lack of comforting stodge – cold sweats, shakes, panic attacks from the serious shock to the system. BUT… and I hate to be all Gillian McKeith about things (don’t worry, I won’t be analysing crap anytime soon. Unless you count my inevitable frequent and disastrous episodes with the opposite sex)… I feel bloody good for it. Maybe carbs really were always my enemy, maybe it’s the improved blood sugars and smaller doses of insulin. In fact, it really should be those things, because that is after all why I’m doing it.

I thought I’d be hungry. Never been more satisfied. I thought I’d be tired. I’m bright as a button. Annoyingly so, some might (would) say. I thought I’d miss the pasta, potatoes, rice, bread. Not really. This week I’ve eaten sausages, cheese, enough Pizza Express dressing to fill a swimming pool (if I could swim in it, I would), avocados (which feels very middle class. Tescos do cheap ones, FYI), salmon, a serious quantity of eggs with generous helpings of hollandaise (wow, apparently low-carbing does make you middle class. There I was last week, a beans on toast gal). What’s not to love about that?! The only time I really wanted something doughy was the day after sambuca-gate. I could have gone into Greggs yesterday and eaten the entire shop. Particularly the cheese and ham bake tray. You know what I mean.

Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s been a week. Hardly a lifetime and I’m currently full of a newcomer’s gung-ho naivety about what lies ahead. But if I’ve done okay(ish) with diabetes for a fair few years, I reckon I can take a few low-carb obstacles. It does help that I have a busy, on-the-go job and thus don’t really have time to think about the food I may or may not be missing. But as I’ve probably/definitely said somewhere before, the way I’m trying to view this is as a lifestyle choice that will keep me healthy, save my eyesight, kidneys and limbs. If I look at it all from a point of depravation (and I use the term loosely. Come on, it’s just bread) whereby I become consumed by the thought of what I CAN’T have, then we’re all pretty much doomed. For me, and probably every other diabetic out there, this is about what’s to be gained. About 20 years of life I’m told. Deal, Noel. And as a by-the-by, it’s not about losing weight, but I did lose 3lbs this week. Show me a girl that’s not gonna be a little bit excited about that particular benefit.

So, crunch time. What it ultimately comes down to, just for the next paragraph before you close your browser of choice, is numbers. I have to do regular blood tests to keep me on the straight and narrow. Aaaand my fancy iPhone diabetes app (my most favouritist thing in the world ever. It’s like porn to me at the moment) tells me my average blood sugar this week has been… wait for it…6.5. I appreciate that won’t mean much to a lot of people; it’s on my list of topics to cover. But in short, 6.5 is pretty darn good. Medical peeps tell you to aim for an ideal of 7. So the magical amazing thing to come out of all this is that it’s WORKING. And starting this blog has thus far made the journey a lot more interesting, and quite possibly a lot easier. So for that, lovely reader (Hi Dad!) I thank you.

The best bit is – this is only the beginning. If you’ve enjoyed the journey thus far, please keep coming back. Particularly because I reckon a few of those predicted obstacles I’m yet to encounter may well be at least a little bit amusing. I’m not getting ahead of myself – there are no guarantees my ‘wit’ is going to make you fall off your chair with laughter. I’m in fact kind of hoping it won’t. I definitely can’t afford any law suits. But I’m gonna put it out there that there’ll at least be a bit of ‘tittering’. But ultimately, from here on in, if I stick to this life where Greggs is (tres sadly) dead to me, things are hopefully going to get better. My writing being one of those things! It’s only been seven days, after all. We’re still getting to know each other. Don’t give up on us yet. I’ve got a feeling we’re onto something.

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6 comments on “Hi, My Name’s Jen And I’m A Low-Carber.

  1. Hi, me again! (sorry for all the replies, I am just really inspired by your blog) Will def be giving the low carb thing a go, I hate injecting large quantities of insulin, and subsequently waking up with a diabetic ‘hangover’ (such a great way to describe it!) Shame my boyfriend makes such delicious carby dinners but it will be worth it to feel better and no one said this was going to be easy. Thanks again for sharing your experiences so honestly, your writing is fantastic 🙂

  2. Reply away, all the comments are 100% spurring me on to keep going. Good luck with taking the plunge, hope it goes well 🙂

  3. You’ve spurred me on to get back blogging, so watch out for the thoughts of a 30-something multi-station newsreader.
    It’s odd how many people read these things isn’t it? 6 months on from me getting back from the US, where I blogged most days, I’m still getting an average of 25-30 hits a day. That’s just weird.
    Bread is so tasty…

  4. Ooohhhh Dave! Thanks for reading! I still can’t actually believe people are reading this, it’s mental. I heart it.
    Loving your bread comment, thanks. Now grow your beard back please.

  5. Hi JennyEnders, am definately a regular viewer now (I watch the re-runs and hum along to your annoying theme music).

    Well done on your diet. By the way I do a side in contract killing so can take out this “Gregg” permanently if you like…I accept payment in yum-yums.

    Love your style. I must upgrade to an iphone for that Diabetes app!

  6. Hahaha brilliant comment! Glad you’re enjoying the blog, I think I’m enjoying the comedy comments more. Greggs-related assassination won’t be necessary… at least until the next hangover. The app was free, it’s awesome. Much easier than trying to write a log… great for diabetes street cred too…

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