June 25, 2020

MINE CERTAINLY WAS (self-reference alert):

Was my diabetes a symbol of moral failure?Lockdown seems to have cured my diabetes -- and taught me a lesson about over-indulgence (GILES FRASER, 6/25/20, UnHerd)

According to the WHO, the number of people with diabetes globally nearly quadrupled between 1980 and 2014 -- from 108 million to 422 million. It's a disease of affluence. Bodies schooled by evolution to store energy to survive periods of famine are badly adapted to manage extended periods of plenty. Type 2 is nature's way of saying we have had enough. Our prosperity is killing us.

So, since lockdown began, I have been on a mission. No bread, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes. And I have been pretty religious about it. I have allowed myself the breadcrumbs around a fish finger and the body of Christ, but apart from these I have cut out bread and those other foods completely. I have lost over three stone. Where low fat diets have never worked for me, low sugar (ie low carbs) really makes a difference.

Yesterday, I received a letter from my GP which said that my blood sugar average over the past three months has been 6 -- compared with the 12 it was this time last year. I have dramatically reduced my diabetes medications. And, hopefully, I am getting close to pushing it into permanent state of remission.

Before lockdown, I was too scared even to verbalise the fear that I might not be around to see my youngest children into their teenage years. Now I can watch my little one learning to walk without feeling guilty. The relief feels wonderful.

I used to find it so reassuring when other people would fail at their diets, thus justifying my own repeated failure. There is nothing quite so comforting as the thought that deep change is impossible because, well, I am the way I am. Change is scary, failure a relief. So there's no need to try too hard. I'm glad I was forced to confront that.

Because there is a deeper question of moral philosophy about the management of what we eat, and that involves our whole approach to limit and privation. If diabetes is the disease of over-supply, then to address it we need to think very hard about our attitude towards the very idea of having enough, to limit.

Too much sugar and too little fitness.

Posted by at June 25, 2020 12:00 AM