The Magic Pill: A different health documentary

On Sunday morning the Viking and I watched a new documentary that I loved.  I’m no stranger to health documentaries and some of my favorites are “Hungry for Change” and “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  Both are full of good information and I highly recommend them.  But before we get into the actual documentary lets back up a bit.

The Viking has been on a health kick for awhile now. He’s lost somewhere around 20 pounds and he wasn’t heavy by any means. I on the other hand have struggled with my weight for pretty much our entire relationship, and last June I found out I had PCOS.  And for the last year I’ve gone through quite the roller coaster.  When I found out I had PCOS I went through a wave of emotions starting with relief.  I wasn’t really interested in changing my life at that time but was just glad to finally have an answer for all that I’d been through.  So throughout the summer I didn’t really change anything about my life. The Viking on the other hand was like I don’t want you to develop diabetes.  I want you to be healthy, but truthfully I didn’t take it seriously.  The doctor put me on some medicine to help regulate my insulin and get it under control.  3 months later my fasting insulin number had climbed and the doctor and I had a heart to heart.  I left knowing that I had to change my eating habits and pretty much quit coffee and cola cold turkey.  Good news is my weight did start to drop, but after my cold in October, and the medicine I was put on for that drove my fasting insulin number up.   I was truly disappointed until I learned that it was the medicine I was on and looked forward to January to get a real evaluation of my health.  But then my dad got sick and I started drinking coke and caffeine again.  Good news is that I had gotten my insulin under control enough that it was quite a bit lower than in October.  Now tomorrow morning I go back in and I know that number isn’t going to be perfect and I’ve got to make my health a priority here and this documentary has provided just the motivation to do that.

The Magic Pill” follows 7 different people and each of these people pretty much have a goal of getting off medication for different reasons by changing the way they eat.  And they do, three of the women specifically go through such a radical transformation you can’t help but come out the other side inspired.  The people followed in this documentary are a woman who is part of a indigenous tribe that was introduced to the white man’s food and most now have diabetes; a grandmother who’s mom had Alzheimer’s and now she is starting to show symptoms of it and is on more pills than I can count; the 5 year old granddaughter of the last person who has autism and lives off chicken nuggets and goldfish; a woman that is on lots of medications and uses her rescue inhaler multiple times a day; a middle aged woman with diabetes; another child with autism; and a woman who cured her breast cancer by changing the way she eats.  Now a lot of these people adopt a ketogenic diet, which is a low carb high fat diet, and I have absolutely no interest in it.  I think there’s a time and place for that but your average person, especially this 26 year old, doesn’t need to be so drastic.  But that’s just my personal opinion.  (Shoves soapbox away).  In addition to following these people, there are interviews with doctors, nutritionists, and health professionals and even parts of a 3 year trial on a doctor in South Africa.

As I sat watching this I stared at the screen in horror.  While I do not have diabetes, I have to take metformin multiple times a day and I can very easily see the path I’m on leading to where one of these people are.  While I’m not afraid of needles I have no interest in poking myself in the gut on a daily basis.  And that was it. That disgust and fear of that future is enough to motivate me.  I completely cleaned out my pantry, something I’ve never ever done before and got rid of everything.  Now the Viking and I are truly cleaning up our diet and trying to mostly focus on eating whole foods for now.  However, life does happen and we plan to take that in stride without falling completely off the wagon and if we deviate from it for a meal we can get right back to our goals with the next one.  I’m sure I’ll talk more about this in the weeks and months to come, and hope to have lots of stuff to document this journey.

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