Jason asked this question in the comments section.
While mostly this blog is for fun, this is one of those really important topics, so I would be remiss in not moving it out of comments and addressing it here.
As Salaamu Alaikum Mushtaq,Well, I can tell you what is working for me. I suspect that everyone will be a little different in how they respond.
All these posts on running have been very inspirational for me. One of the reasons I have been trying to run more often (other than for enjoyment) is that I am also diabetic. It is very inspiring for me to read that you control your blood sugar with diet and exercise alone. I take medication to help control my blood sugar but would like to control it with diet and exercise alone. I have found calorie restriction and exercise to be very helful in controlling blood sugar levels but there is a lot of confusing information on what to eat or not to eat. Would you mind sharing any tips or resources on what you do to maintain your blood sugar? Jazakallahu Khair.
My sense is that type 2 diabetes is reversible in most cases, but it requires serious work.
The first thing is that you need is to be utterly ruthless with yourself and develop complete self discipline. No excuses, no "falling off the wagon", no exceptions. Ever.
The second thing is to make sure that you have a Doctor who is willing to work with you. At some point you are going to have to go off your meds and you need a competent MD to help with monitoring you.
Make friends with your lancet. At first you may need to test your blood glucose as many as eight times a day. You need to know what eating a particular food is doing to you. You also need to know how much your blood sugar is reduced by any given exercise.
Make serious changes in your diet until your sugar normalizes.
For me this included giving up all processed foods, and building my diet around fresh fruit and vegetables. Processed foods are poison.
My diabetes is based in my genetics. The Native American side of my family suffers greatly from it. As a matter of fact type 2 diabetes is epidemic throughout the Native American population.
So what I did was to go back to a "pre-Columbian" diet. I built my eating habits around what my fore-bearers ate and thrived on. So my diet has a lot of squash and beans in it, and some corn, but only "heritage strains", lots of chia seed, and "wild meat". Where I live it is easy to access buffalo meat and venison, which is so much better than beef it ain't even funny. More on diet later.
You MUST exercise every day. Serious exercise. This is an essential key to the process. You need a way to get rid of excess blood glucose and that means burning calories.
You also MUST get your weight down. Determine what the lowest healthy weight is for your size and drop down to that. Make sure that your body fat percentage is under 15%, under 10% is better. You will have limited success until you normalize you weight and composition.
Find what motivates you and use it. You will be fighting a lifetime of bad habits, so you will need tools to counter them.
Get a copy of the book "The End of Overeating" by Dr David Kessler and read it multiple times. Better yet read it out loud to your wife. It helps to actually hear the material and having family support is essential. This is the single best book on "food addiction" in modern times I have run across. More than that, it will give you a deep understanding of Nafs al Amara.
Have "tools" in place to deal with temptations and addictive thoughts.
For me it is the memory of one of my favorite uncles. He was a wonderful person, deeply spiritual in the best sense of the word. He had lost both legs to diabetes and developed all the secondary diseases associated with diabetes.
The memory is of the last time I saw him alive. It was at an all night ceremony near his home. His son and I carried him to the place where he would sit (there is no real wheel chair access to a tepee) and even though he was in constant pain he sat there until sunrise. He was a powerful singer, one of the best. He sang all night long, praying for the health and prosperity of his people.
Near sunrise, it was again my turn to sing, and I did my best. After my turn was done and I had passed the staff and gourd to the next person, I saw my uncle lean over to my (adopted) father and I heard him whisper to him "Our son sure sings good". It was one of the high points of my young life.
Two days later he was dead.
So whenever I hear the voice of my nafs saying something like "Hey, one piece of frybread won't hurt you, go ahead" I have trained myself to remember my uncle, to see him in my mind's eye sitting there and singing, both legs cut off above the knee, and to remember that "one piece of frybread" took him away from all the people who needed him. It's a memory that has never failed me.
You will need to find something like that. Something that will override any excuses for breaking your discipline.
Make sure your environment supports your efforts to be healthy. I didn't start getting a handle on my blood glucose until I got out of a very toxic living situation and into a healthy one. I was living with two obese room mates, both of whom were quite dishonest about their own health and eating habits. You need complete control over what and when you eat and you need for the people around you to be supportive of your efforts. It also helps to be surrounding yourself with life affirming people just for the general well being it produces. From what you have mentioned of your wife, it sounds like you're off to a good start.
Back to diet.
What I did was this. I would test something, a food, a method of cooking, portion, whatever. If my glucose went down I held on to whatever it was for further testing. If it went up I threw it out and never went back to it. So I guess the rule would be. Change your behavior until you get the result you are looking for. Never be attached to any one modality.
What I had to do was drop all grain from my diet as well as potatos. The only exception to this is corn in moderation, and only "heritage" strains like blue corn, no sweet corn, no dent corn, only flint corn from non GMO strains that were here before the White-Eyes showed up.
Memorize the glycemic index and glycemic load for every food you are likely to encounter and pay attention to it. Don't ever eat anything with an index over 50 or a load over 8 or 9. Less is better.
Take your vitamins!
Most diabetics are way low on Vitamin D, I sure was, and it showed. My liver got very confused. It thought that I was starving at night. I would go to bed with a blood glucose of 110 and wake up with one of 200 because my liver was dumping glycogens int my blood all night to make up for the "starvation" it was sensing. I now get lots of sunlight and take 2000 units of D a day. Now I go to bed with a blood sugar of 90 and wake up with one of 98. The problem is still there, but not to the extent that it will do damage. (for anyone who doesn't know, "normal" blood glucose is around 100, and should be between 70 and 90 when you wake up)
I have found other supplements to be useful as well, but that's going to need to be a separate post.
Make clear, incremental, attainable goals for yourself. Things like "I will drop three pounds in weight and two percent body fat in the next month". Write these goals down and read them to yourself out loud daily. If you fail at a goal (and you most likely will from time t time) don't beat yourself up, just go into trouble-shooting mode, discover the problem areas and modify your behavior until you achieve the goal. Never accept failure! Turn failure into feedback and learn from it. The only way to really fail is to die. As long as you are alive you have the means to win.
Restrict your calories. I found this to be essential.
There are a number of ways to do this. The way that works for me is intermittent fasting. I fast from all food on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On days when I eat, I do so as intelligently as possible and I don't over indulge. I allow myself as much zero calorie liquids as I want, mostly mineralized water and herb tea. After a few weeks I found doing this to be no problem at all. My energy is good on fast days and I rarely feel hungry. I can do a 30 mile bike ride while fasting as easily as on days when I eat.
There is much more to the process, but this will give you an idea of how I go about it. My blood glucose is normal these days I haven't gone above normal levels in months now. I do miss some foods, but contrary to the old saying, I have never eaten something I am willing to die for.
If this is of interest to people I will write more on it.
And here is some music, a prayer really, for my uncle, my (adopted)father my cousins and friends, all those who lost their lives to diabetes.