Look at all you people with your challenge threads up the first day of zero week. Good on ya! Mine is going up the first day of the challenge.
Any-who, for any of you that followed me last year, you know my challenges have revolved around blood sugar and reversing diabetes. Thank you all for supporting me through that! There is one thing out there though that still plagues me to this day...the Dawn Phenomenon. It's not the end of the world and I might be making too big of a deal out of it, but it still bugs me that it's there. Basically, my morning blood sugars are high and continue going up until I eat something (makes IF difficult) or exercise or both. That handy link there from the Mayo Clinic offers some suggestions. You may notice that of the 5 suggestions, only one of them does not involve medication and most you know by now that I try to find other ways of solving problems before trotting off to the pharmacy. I'm fairly certain I'm a victim of the dawn phenomenon and not the Symogi Effect (see here) but I need to wake up in the middle of the night and check my blood sugar to make sure. So, there's your step 1. Step 1 is super important because if you check that link, the first suggested things to try are exact opposites of each other. Yep. 2 causes of high blood sugar with not only different suggested solutions, rather polar opposite solutions of each other.
To be fair, its the same symptom with 2 different causes, so it makes sense the solutions would be different. But, they couldn't be more different.
Now, eliminating the effect is not the goal as I'm not sure that's realistic. The goal is to get everything back in the normal range as quickly as possible to keep the overall numbers lower. This challenge is going to be a month long experiment to see what works best from a blood sugar standpoint.
Name it - So, I'm fairly certain I know what it is, but given the opposite directions of potential solutions, fairly certain isn't good enough. This one is going to suck for 3-4 nights I need to get up between 2 & 3 AM to test my blood sugars. That's the hard part. Testing it every morning when I get up is easy. Once I have a the right diagnosis, it's on to step 2.
To carb or not to carb - The non-pharmaceutical suggestions that are first given out for these 2 issues is related to not consuming carbs before bed, or consuming carbs before bed. So, I'll go down the path indicated by Step 1. And we will take morning blood sugar readings to see what the outcome is and how its changing that starting point.
Get up and move - This will be a change. After getting said number, I will do something. It's not easy for me to do something strenuous first thing in the morning. So, for this challenge I will either be doing some stretching exercises or take the dog for a walk depending on the weather. The idea is that some mild exercise should also bring those numbers back to a normal range sooner.
Most important meal of the day - I suck at breakfast. I prefer not to eat it to be honest. But, the fact of the matter is that I do without realizing it. Coffee + almond milk or coffee + heavy cream is enough to break any fast and not enough to bring my numbers back down. So, I don't get the autophagy effects of extended fasting, nor do I get the bonus of bringing down the glucose numbers. I'm playing the hunch here that it is the Dawn Phenomenon and I shouldn't be eating stuff before bed, and eating in the morning. My hope is that I can go for 12 hours or so without eating from dinner time to breakfast time and work on keeping that time without food to as long as possible. This way I hope to at least get my blood sugar numbers lower faster. But, still a breakfast must be made.
And that's it for challenge goals. I'm still planning on HIIT, increasing my weekly running miles, lifting 2-3x/week and writing some more blog posts. But, I've spent a lot of time on exercise lately. Time to get back to some nutrition type goals.