Hi - My first question here, though I lurk often and think this is an amazing place. (It's remarkable, really, how consistently civil and sane discussions among paleo/primal folks tend to be, relative to the tone of the discourse elsewhere online.)
Okay: So I'm a T2 diabetic, not taking insulin but with a pretty handicapped pancreas. Most of my 20s, I was 200 lbs. Now I'm 40 years old, 125 lbs. I'm 5'2" (female). I lost 50 lbs before diagnosis using various approaches. Decided with diagnosis to try to manage with low carb and exercise. It seems like the natural progression for so many low-carbers is to wind up paleo when we seek to improve the quality of our food. I first started making changes in that direction at the beginning of this year. Mostly switching meat and fat sources, and easing back on dairy, and going no-grain instead of not-much-whole-grain, etc.
So, I love eating this way. I love my pastured eggs and my avocados and the grass-fed beef shares I get and the farmer's market lamb and my precious, precious coconut, etc. But: I do have a history of binge eating disorder, and sugar is what triggers it. As a diabetic, I am fully conscious I can't dick around with that. But picture me: grilling poor waiters at really nice restaurants about every single thing on the food I order. Then someone offers me a bite of their dessert and I'm all SURE! Then enough "bites" of other people's dessert and basically I've had a full dessert. Or, starting to eat faileo foods/low carb products in moderation and then winding up on slippery slope to binge city. If I were just paleo for the weight loss aspects and saw it as a diet, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I don't have a problem maintaining my weight loss (though I still have fat to lose). But as a diabetic...like I said.
Based on some recent tests, I either need to 1) seriously consider insulin therapy or 2) no more dicking around - give this a good 30-45 day commitment and see where my pancreas winds up - and possibly still wind up at 1 but maybe not - I won't know until I do this for real. After years of dieting and dealing with disordered eating, I know there are kind of two ways I can approach this:
Total perfection (which for me would include some dairy). Go all-in and be strict and just see it as a challenge and adventure. The risks: Creeping sense of deprivation or that I'm going to fail, and if I eat one wrong bite encountering the WTF-effect...i.e. keep getting 6 or 7 "perfect" days under my belt, then be imperfect, freak out, and binge, etc. and start over at day 1 constantly.
Think of it more as an attitude change/lifestyle commitment that I'm starting NOW, with no "detox" or "induction"-style time period first, and give myself grace for the occasional "paleo" homemade baked good made with real foods, as an outlet and stay against feeling deprived and anxious about perfection. Go for 30-45 days of 95% compliance (80% not a good option for me as a diabetic). Risks: be in denial about what 95% looks like and not get full benefits of changes, keep alive a sense that comfort or pleasure = something baked or sort of sweet, not really give my pancreas the R&R it needs, always wonder/suspect I could be doing it "better".
(Also, today as I was putting a bunch of "sugar-free" treats in the garbage I realized how insane it is to eat something made mostly of chemicals instead of half a sweet potato or other starchy whole food or even a normal amount of tomato. Yet that's what I do. ["Oh I can't eat starchy foods! And tomatoes are kind of higher carb! But I can eat this maltitol on a stick!" Absurd, right?] So maybe baking with almond flour and eggs and a little honey is really just fine now and then - certainly better for me than frankenfoods - even WITH diabetes, and it would help in those 1-bite-of-6-desserts moments because I could know I have a little coconut flour muffin waiting at home.)
Any thoughts or experience on all of this? Benefits and drawbacks of being drill-sergeant strict to build a great foundation vs. just kind of going, this is how I live now and x,y,z are okay for me but 1,2,3 are absolutely never"? I'm especially interested in hearing from those with eating disorders. Perfectionism, I know, can be a problem. But so can being too easy on oneself.
This is long. Sorry. Thank you!