Attention Jeff: The wheels are falling off! Whatcha gonna do?

After graduating college I was eager to start my new life in corporate America. I was a fit 22 year old and weighed about 200 lbs. Coffee really isn’t my thing so I would start my mornings off with a couple of full strength 20oz bottles of soda pop. As far as my diet went, I was young and fit, I never gave a thought to diet and ate whatever I wanted.

Well, after ignoring my bodies hormonal response to the S.A.D. diet (Standard American Diet) for 23 years, I found myself tipping the scales at 345 lbs. Now at the age of 45 the wheels of my health started falling off. First was being told I have sleep apnea and would have to spend a night at a sleep lab all wired up.

Sleep apnea tests
Sleep apnea tests

The second shoe to drop was being told by my doctor that my A1C was 11.6 and that I was a full-blown type II diabetic and would now have to prick my finger every morning and enjoy a cocktail of medications.

Diabetes came with a time consuming new medication routine

And Finally, to top all that, I suffered a seizure and collapsed to the floor. After being rushed to the hospital and having several test and scans, I was told that I had a brain abscess the size of a ping pong ball and would need surgery to relieve the pressure on my brain

My brain scan showing the abcess
After brain surgery

Two more seizures followed that in the months after and I was diagnosed with epilepsy.

So, in about two years I spiraled pretty hard. I saw that I had to do something if things were going to improve. I spoke to a couple of friends who had received gastric bypass surgery. They both told me it was the best thing they ever did. I discussed the idea with my family doctor and he agreed and in early 2017 I had my gastric bypass surgery.

In a follow-up visit with my bypass surgeon is when “the lights came on” in my life about the effects of what you eat and the hormonal signaling your body receives from that food. The doctor told me something that changed my life. “Jeff,” He said. ” all I did was change the size of your stomach, I did not change your hormones”. That hormone was INSULIN. That’s right insulin, the same drug given to me for my diabetes.

Basically, I was being told that I was carbohydrate intolerant and that my bodies hormonal response to carbohydrates is to store them as fat. This meant my bodies ability to use carbohydrates for energy was impaired. When consuming the macronutrient carbohydrate, my body would signal the hormone insulin into action to maintain my blood sugar level. Being insulin resistant, it would take more and more insulin to maintain normal sugar levels. The excess sugar would eventually be stored in my body as fat since insulin is the main fat-storage hormone.

Talk about a circular firing ring. I have to use insulin to control my diabetes, but insulin is causing my obesity. That was when I learned about the Keto diet. Food trends are nothing new. They come and go with alarming regularity. But the results others experiences looked promising. So, to answer the question “Whatcha gonna do?” I’m gonna do KETO!!

Thank you for reading,
Jeff Zucal