Giving up bread for Lent is something I’ve wanted to do before, but I was pretty sure that I would fail miserably. I’ve tried the jump start portion of the South Beach diet (where you don’t eat carbs for two weeks) and fell off the wagon in four days.
For years I didn’t know why I needed carbs so much. Then when I was in high school I mentioned to my doctor that I only had my period every three months. That, combined with my weight and some other issues (that I’m not quite ready to discuss here) made her run some tests. A few days later she diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Yeah, I know. Most of the people who know about this are the ones who have it. And if you do have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) you know its a random condition that can cause a myriad of issues from acne to infertility… oh yeah it also causes weight gain and makes it very difficult to lose weight.
My relationship with bread (and carbs in general) runs deep. Its quite literally in my blood to crave carbs. Another symptom of PCOS is insulin resistance, which means your body is toying with the idea of being diabetic.
“Insulin allows glucose to travel from the bloodstream into the cells. When we eat foods high in refined carbohydrates, insulin levels surge to remove the sugar from the blood and get it into your cells. This mechanism works very well for the most part. But if insulin spikes too often from a diet rich in the high-carb foods that trigger insulin secretion, your cells respond by decreasing the reactivity and number of insulin receptors on their surfaces. Eventually, this prevents glucose from getting into your cells, leading to high blood sugar and depriving your cells of the energy they need to function. This is why many women with insulin resistance experience carbohydrate cravings, fatigue and weight-gain — their cells are literally starving for energy, even when plenty of glucose is available in the blood. Down the road, your body’s capacity to generate insulin appropriately becomes depleted, and the result is type 2 diabetes.” -Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP