Purpose based living


Travelling in Japan 2007

Life isn’t simple. Maybe it should be, but it isn’t.

The last thirty-five years I have lived my life based on a set of principles that I came to after taking a series of personal development courses. In those courses, which were a part of the Lifespring movement in the United States in the seventies, really hammered home to me that if I didn’t decide what I want, I could never get it. And that hanging around in uncertainty as to what I wanted was really simply a lie.

I always knew what I wanted. Still do.

What makes life hard to figure out is not about not knowing what I want, it’s about continuing to pursue my life purpose, even when things haven’t turned out the way I planned.

I never planned on getting diabetes, or becoming plainly obese. It kinda snuck up on me until one day I could no longer function properly. Repeated illness were striking me down, all the way from stomach problems to pneumonia. Chronic pain is now a part of my everyday, and every night, life. Neuropathy is a stalking horse, creeping into my hands and feet, with sometimes terrifying and intense pain.

Update on my diabetes this week

I saw my endocrinologist this week. He is a doctor with the University of British Columbia working at the clinic at Vancouver General Hospital, and considered one of the top endocrinologists in the city. I’ve been seeing him for quite a while and he has always been quite encouraging in my attempt to manage my diabetes. My glucose control has never been quite up to snuff, but he’s always emphasized the positive rather than the negative.

While I appreciated his words over the years, what I really would have appreciated more would have been if he had been in a position to help me actually get rid of the disease, or at least, control it far more. Whenever I saw him I left the office feeling better about myself, regardless of what my A1C said about my diabetes, or even after I started having some serious side effects from the disease. At his point I’m not blaming him for my inability to control my blood sugars or my diet or my obesity or my stress level or my neuropathy or my fatty liver or my damaged kidneys…

I am grateful that he supported my decision to do Intermittent Fasting, and follow Dr. Jason Fung’s recommendations regarding the fight against this disease. I’m still a long ways away from achieving my goal of eliminating all medications, including insulin, from my life. However, I doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate his feedback this week when we went over my results.

He was totally enthusiastic about my progress and the charts showing the rapid drop in my A1C over the past three or four months. My lipids are now perfect and all my other indicators show a radical improvement in my metabolic health. I’ve still a distance to go, of course, but he was highly complimentary to my willingness to stick to my plan, and reduce my weight so much in such a short time.

We also talked about the evolving institutional medical response to Dr. Fung and other doctors and researchers like him who are demonstrating radically different strategies from the standard treatment still offered by most diabetic clinics and doctors. My doctor explained that as a physician he still needs the clinics and their team of dieticians and other support people on board. And they haven’t come over to Dr. Funds recommendations by any means.

Some still publicly call these theories, just theories despite clinical results of thousands of patients and studies around the globe. Dieticians are among the last to adopt new thinking, especially when it goes against the National Health Association and the Canadian Diabetic Society recommendations. Change is slow and hard come by, and that is probably good, except in this case.

Tens of thousands of Canadians are getting worse every day following dietary advice that is just plain wrong.

We need to change the hearts and minds of professionals everywhere.



36 thoughts on “Purpose based living

  1. Well done on sticking to your guns and continuing intermittent fasting – plant based diets are hugely beneficial for people with diabetes and people in general – I have seen some wonderful transformations for people with diabetes who go into plant based diets – good luck and keep posting about your progress

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I thought it was just the doctors in the U.S. who are narrow minded when it comes to diabetes and alternative treatments. With the Keto and Paleo diets becoming more widespread there are now breads with very low carbs made with almond flour instead of any grains; they’re expensive as all get out, but there are also recipes on the internet which I haven’t gotten around to checking out yet. My friend that I take care of has type 2 diabetes so I’m on the lookout for substitutes to the foods he loves to eat. Congratulations on your journey and your successes!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Donald, thanks for sharing, and thanks for reading my post too. I suffered from crohn’s disease for quite long time, and went on many dire straights, between drugs and natural cures, and many other mind boggling thoughts. I don’t have crohn’s now, I am growing older, I get sick sometimes, and I understand that I am aging, and that I can get any disease other than crohn’s. Still, I am feeling relatively ok. I don’t take regular medication of any kind, still, I don’t mind taking medicine as long as it really works. But what I want to say, is I’ve learned a basic scientific fact from my suffering and then healing from crohn’s. It’s that if we got on a path, any path especially natural healing, and that thing, herb, diet or any other, and that we started to improve – even very little – that thing (diet, herb etc) can completely or permanently cure the disease – be that diabetes or other – provided that we persisted the course UNTIL OUR GENES CHANGE the way they behave. This takes quite some time, long time, sometimes a year, two or more. But one day, a gene transfiguration starts to take place, and the disease is just gone!

    Sorry for long reply, and thanks for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My partner’s family is highly prone to Chron’s disease, and her brother died from it. She’s always worried about it, and is very careful about her diet. She still developed diabetes, however, and had to radically reduce carb intake to get it under control.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donald, thanks for your reply. I am not sure that what worked for me could work with someone else. Here it is in brief. At the time At the time crohn’s was at its worst in me, It was so bad to the point i became paralyzed many time. I couldn’t eat or even drink anything, and I had to crawl sometimes. I went into long comas many times expecting that it’s over. long story made short. I used to smoke weed occasionally before I got crohn’s. One day, a friend of mine, a weed farmer brought one kind of strong weed that he’s planting, and I smoked it. It was extremely potent unlike any other. Soon after I smoked it the paralyse state and pain that I was in just stopped. And I started to eat again without having a phase. Few months later I traveled to Sri Lanka to continue smoking pot as it’s illegal where I live, and I went to jail one time for smoking. After 7 months of smoking regularly in Sri Lanka, I moved to the mountains where there are weed farmers. After few months of living on a top of a mountain, alone, smoking weed became a spiritual ritual to me. My state of mind at that time was.. something else, i don’t know how to describe it. It was like there was no separation between me and my disease anymore. I became the disease, and I could just stop it. I can’t tell you all what happened in a post. But since then crohn’s just gone away. I checked with a doctor after I came back home, she made me blood tests, and when she saw the results, she told me that not that I don’t have crohn’s, I don’t have any disease at all. She put the test report aside, looked at me and asked me: what is that you did again in sri lanka? I remained quite for a while, and I remembered the long moments, hours and days that I remained in an utter silence, peace, non-sense or nothingness. And I replied: I just didn’t do anything anymore.

        Not to indicate that weed was my only treatment, it’s that my conscious changed. And I started to heal with anything, making a choice and knowing that at that time, what I did (eat, say, do etc) was my instant cure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your thoughtful response. Illnesses of many kinds are highly responsive to the patient’s state of mind, and healing can be promoted or delayed by stress or anxiety. In many cased the disease itself is a function of the emotional or mental state of the patient.

        It turns out that diabetes is just one of these illnesses too. Metabolic disorder is a result of too much insulin and glucose in the blood stream, but these are most often caused because there is a disconnect between our minds and our bodies, which results in eating foods which aren’t really suitable in the amounts and types consumed.

        So eating too much of the wrong thing can kill you too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As for “Bipolar”, I’ve had that too for long time. But after understanding it, I have much less of mood swings now. I think that bipolarity, or depression in general has to do with some tendency or a deficiency that we have in our genes. Persistent depression has to do with the way our body synthesis sugars (mainly), amino and fatty acids. If you notice, people with autoimmune system disease mostly suffer from depression, this has to do with how the immune system (especially in the digestive system” sometimes “attack” lipids, sugars or amino acids mistaking them and reacting to them as pathogens (instead of essential resources for brain balancing chemicals). One simple cure to this is to get sugar and amino acids from other sources. Someone’s body may not synthesize protein well from meat because of inability to metabolize the fat in the meat, in this case eating nuts and cashews works well, eating sesame paste substitutes the need for fat, omegas and vitamin E and so on. Some people don’t digest milk’s sugar and so on. So, an approach to healing depression would be finding sources of amino acids that our body can metabolize.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome work–and what a journey full of hard work with your health! I applaud you. Socially, diets like Keto are a challenge, since most people see unhealthy food and sugar as a love language. I’ve not done Keto for my hormone/mental health journey but I eat GF, DF, processed sugar-free, and paleo/whole food. I have a bunch of food intolerances so eating out is almost impossible, etc. I just feel so much better physically when I eat right, and mentally, too.

    I agree about the doctor comments…I went to regular physicians who said, “well, you’re thin, you seem healthy enough, maybe exercise more” but I had no energy to, and if I tried I’d be out for a few days. I felt like I was an arthritic, bloated 90 yr old (it was SIBO) and nobody could help me…until I jumped ship and went to an integrative physician who didn’t follow mainstream and got rid of my bacterial gut overgrowth, and got bio-identical hormone replacement.

    Love the goal-setting life! I’m always excited to hear others’ stories about theirs. Along with my faith in Christ who knew suffering too, the goal setting mentality has been helping me rise above despair and overwhelm for the past few years. It is good to feel hopeful again, isn’t it?!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for posting this and thanks for following. I turned 60 this year and my husband is 61. Our health is a daily prayer of thankfulness! We have our issues but are generally blessed with good health. it is truly a gift from God! Again, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My father has diabetes and just about everyone in my family has some type of thyroid issue. One of the best things you can do is gentle yoga. It will calm your nervous system, release energy blocks and make it easier to eat better. Stress can trigger cortisol, which can prompt increased eating or an inflammation response. Yoga can help you find your breath, find your center and make life a little lighter. Thank you for bravely sharing your journey and I love the info on goal setting!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally understand your struggles. I have a daughter who was diagnosed with type 1 at age 11. She is now 36. The insulins have come a long way since she was diagnosed. No one really knows what living with this disease really means unless you or someone you are living with has it. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was heartened to read your blog. I worked as a dietitian in the 1980’s but left the field for greener pastures. Ok other pastures in the health care sector, I have followed Dr Jason Fung and the intermittent fasting movement. I applaud your doctor for endorsing your adoption of a care plan that is not within the clinical practice guidelines. I agree the dietetics profession is the last to adopt any changes. Very conservative and risk adverse profession compared to OTs or PT’s how adopt innovation quickly. Good luck and hope you continue to talk about your experience in the public domain.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good to have you read my post, and good to jump on this one and read your battle with diabetes. So many in my family have had it but luckily I have always kept my diabetes at Type II. I am going to be 78 this coming week and I can still do a lot of things the younger people cannot. I also have Reynauld’s syndrome, but it too is contained at the present and I only have to take one Metformin a day.

    I took the Lifespring course and some others in that same timespan, and it was very helpful for me. I love to learn new things all the time, and I constantly am doing research to learn more about this subject or that.

    In 2016, I was stricken with cancer in my left breast. I was attending a university online, getting a second degree, this one in Criminal Justice. The surgery was in May, and I graduated in October. They wanted me to have five days a week of radiation for six weeks, and five years of anti-hormonal therapy. I did all my research and found that at my age, I was more likely to die of a heart attacked caused by the radiation since it was on the left side, than the cancer, which was a stage one. The treatment they were calling for was extreme for Stage One cancer, and I told the oncologist that. He wasn’t very happy about it, but hey, it is my health, not theirs. Women need those hormones. It is what prevents us from having heart attacks as we grow older, so no, not a good idea. I was prepared for every argument, and he finally gave up. But it is MY health and no one else’s.

    When I was in my 20’s, a doctor was giving me really strong medicine for supposedly bad kidneys. Then one day I read in the paper that there was an investigation going on with doctors in that area, and he was one of them who were giving their patients huge doses of medications and even putting them in the hospital so they could give larger doses. Well, the doctor told me that I would likely die of the kidney disease because it was chronic. I had babies and small children at the time, and I got really mad when I got home and thought, “I will see you in hell before I will die of kidney disease.” I flushed all the medication down the drain, and for a couple of weeks, it was like undergoing some horrible type of drug withdrawal, which is exactly what it was. I don’t know what he was giving me but it was some kind of bad drug. I had to crawl around to try to take care of my children during the day and at night I would put them to bed and just sleep a lot. But after a couple of weeks, one day I woke up and I was actually hungry for the first time. After that I got well, and I did NOT have bad kidneys after all.

    So one thing is that if what the doctor says about our health doesn’t sound right or it doesn’t go with the things we know or can learn on our own, we need to follow our own minds. It sounds like you are making progress, and continue to do what feels right for you. I do know that people using plant foods (eating more vegetables than meat) are doing better. Your body does need some protein, but you need to eat vegetables regularly to stay well. Thank you for your good post.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Portion size is key to keeping weight under control. Also, some recipes can be made with less carbs and still use real sugar. I do not like sugar substitutes. Check out the cookbook ‘The Ultimate Diabetes Cookbook’ by: Carol Gelles. I have made so many recipes from this book and they are all delicious. Chicken Pot Pie is a family favorite as is the Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Spinach and Feta Cheese and the Coq au Vin. I could go on… Remember, there is no vacation from diabetes…you have to learn to live together. Good-luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Donald, have you checked out the Blood Group Diet by Dr Peter D’Adamo. It has made a massive difference to my health. The reviews on Amazon might be worth a read. There is a book specific to Diabetics. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I so appreciated your insight. I have been vegetarian for almost 3 decades and I think it has helped me avoid the more serious autoimmune issues in the family tree. I also work on my “mental diet”, which is hugely important.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I also a fan of intermittent fasting but more for health and weight control. Never considered fat but just maintaining it as I get older. I believe that the patient has the right to try it out and if numbers show but doctor not convinced, maybe time to change doctor or seek second opinion. I not into Keto diet as a freegan, I don’t want to spend much on food.

    Liked by 1 person

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