Hi, my name is Belinda. I’m from Nova Scotia, Canada, surrounded by the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
In my first four months with Optimising Nutrition, I’ve lost forty lbs (18 kg).
I’m loving my journey of reversing my type 2 diabetes and gaining metabolic flexibility while helping others along the way.
This is my story.
What’s Your Why?
I started my journey of Nutritional Optimisation to regain my health and avoid going down the same path as my parents!
Until my late twenties, I was healthy and active. However, stress from studying for a second degree, emergency surgery right before graduation, and an ovarian cancer diagnosis at age 29 threw me off.
My body didn’t manage the culmination of stressors well. I ended up with a binge eating disorder (BED), which took several years to heal.
As I healed from BED, I felt like I was finally ready to focus on my health. However, my dad had a major stroke which left him in an altered state. In time, he largely recovered but was never himself again. For the next ten years, I was the sole caretaker of both parents while working full-time.
My mom had Type-2 Diabetes my whole life despite never being overweight. Her blood glucose was all over the place from stress and other health issues. Around 2010, she started having transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and other complications from high blood glucose. My life soon revolved around regular visits to the hospital emergency room.
Sadly, in 2019, my mom passed away from complications of her Type-2 Diabetes. Two years later, my dad suffered another stroke in 2021 and joined her. In the last few years of his life, he had also dealt with a long bout of dementia.
Then, seven months after my mum died, I was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes. After seeing everything my parents had gone through, I knew cancer and diabetes were not a recipe for a long life, and I vowed to regain my health and vitality. I wanted to live and THRIVE instead of merely surviving!
What Approaches Have You Tried in the Past?
After healing my diet mindset and disordered eating habits, I focused on lifestyle changes.
I initially tried keto in 2021 to reduce my blood glucose but could never get under thirty grams of carbs without my sugars crashing hard.
I tried all the fixes with the help of well-known experts, but even they were perplexed. I didn’t lose much weight. But a lower-carb diet did put my blood sugar into the normal range. This preliminary success pushed me to keep trying other ways of eating.
Next, I tried a lower-carb, paleo-ish, whole-food approach. While I felt good, I still couldn’t lose any weight. My blood sugars were ‘normal,’ but one wrong meal and my sugars would be through the roof!
So, it was back to the drawing board. I wanted to understand how I could address the root cause of my type 2 diabetes!
I started researching and learned that while low-carb kept blood glucose down, it didn’t reverse diabetes — the low-carb diet was merely managing the symptoms.
I didn’t want to win only the battle; I wanted to win the whole war and reverse my condition as much as possible!
I knew there must be a way to normalise my blood glucose again. Some studies said weight loss would do it, but that was what I had been trying to do with all my dietary changes.
So how could I lose weight??
How Did You Find Optimising Nutrition?
One day, I watched a Low Carb Conference video on YouTube and saw one of Marty’s presentations on Optimising Nutrition and his ideas on the Personal Fat Threshold.
I didn’t know what to think, but it made sense, and my geeky accounting brain was intrigued! So, I checked out some of Marty’s blog articles on reversing insulin resistance and diabetes, and my mind was blown!
It was right there! The answer I’d been searching for that no one else could provide!
I was hooked and signed up that night.
What Did You Learn That Surprised You?
The first course I took was the Micros Masterclass. In the first week, I learned I was eating WAY more fat on my low-carb diet than I thought—more than double, to be precise!
After four months, I’m still surprised at how satisfied I feel eating a higher-protein diet centred around the most nutrient-dense foods. I’m never hungry, and I’m always in control!
My meals today are huge and extremely filling, despite containing less energy from fat and carbs.
After years of struggling with overeating, I now understand that my body was craving nutrients! With a little quantification, I have worked out how to optimise my meals to give my body everything it needs with less energy — so no more overeating.
What Progress Have You Noticed?
Below, I’ve included a summary spreadsheet I put together showing my progress. Most of the 40 lbs lost is fat, with the protein preserving my precious lean mass! For someone who couldn’t lose weight before coming here, I would say it’s amazing! ?
As you can see in the charts below, my pre-meal blood glucose and hourly blood glucose averages have also decreased. In my first round of the DDF Challenge, my trigger lowered from 5.2 mmol/L (94 mg/dL) to 4.4 mmol/L (79 mg/dL). In the second round of DDF, my trigger dropped from 4.8 mmol/L (86 mg/dL) to 3.9 mmol/L (70 mg/dL). Since I started my journey, I’ve lowered my HbA1c from 8.7 to 5.5. Not bad for someone who was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes!
During the Data-Driven Fasting Challenges, I used my learnings from the masterclasses to ensure I was giving my body what it needed. Using my glucose helped me perfect when and how much I needed without having to track my food.
Before and After Photos
Lastly, I included some before and after pictures from where I started my journey. While I have a bit to go until I am where I want to be, I am off to a great start. ? The pants are the same, but I can breathe in them now!
What Were Your Biggest Non-Scale Victories?
Aside from numbers and data, my biggest triumph of this journey thus far is having energy again! The Micros Masterclass (micronutrients) gave me my life back! In just two weeks, my energy levels went from ‘dead slug’ to ‘human’! ?
Shopping for smaller clothes is cool too! Since starting with Optimising Nutrition, I am now three sizes smaller. I’ve lost three inches from my waist!
What Advice Would You Give to Someone Just Starting?
If you’re starting your quest of Nutritional Optimisation, I would say the first thing you should do is follow the program as provided and avoid jumping ahead. This will keep you from being overwhelmed. It will also make it easier to ensure these changes become lasting habits.
Next, trust the process and be patient. Chances are you did not lose your metabolic health in a day or two, so don’t expect to reach your goal overnight. Stick it out and celebrate your day-to-day improvements.
Consistent effort brings the best results! Jumping into things headfirst with an ‘all-or-nothing’ mentality often makes things harder to adhere to over the long term. Before long, Lizzy will jump in and undo all your hard work.
Make time to read the daily lessons and ask questions if you’re unsure. So many knowledgeable optimiser alums are happy to help you on your journey, and a good question could spark insightful conversation.
Oh, lastly, be prepared for something amazing! ?
Thanks so much to Marty and Alex for everything you do at Optimising Nutrition!
What Are Your Plans Going Forward?
After four months of rapid weight loss, I plan to take a break to focus on maintaining my weight and increasing my activity levels until I’m ready to push again in future classes. I’m looking forward to losing more, but I also understand that practising maintenance is an often overlooked part of the process.
But I also love being part of the Optimising Nutrition community and sharing what I’ve learned to help others on their journey. It also helps keep me accountable. I can’t wait to see you there!
If you’d like to join Belinda in our Optimising Nutrition community, we’ve set up a welcome checklist to help you navigate all the free resources and courses you can join here. See you on the other side.