Author: Larry Bogoslaw
I had always liked sweets, and I had a problem with bedwetting since I was four, but I never had any real problems with my health until October, 1972, when I was 8 years old. I remember the night of my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah; I had not eaten all day, and I was so hungry by the end of the evening that I binged on as much cake as I could eat. The next morning I threw up and began to feel really fatigued. My mother took me to a pediatrician, and the diagnosis was type 1 diabetes; I was put on 1 shot of insulin per day.
I lacked the willpower to stay on the structured diet plan I was given. By the time I was eleven another doctor put me on two shots of insulin a day in an effort to better control my blood sugar, since I wasn’t eating as carefully as I was supposed to. From the start, I was always a very undisciplined eater and drinker, and very poor at following the doctor’s instructions; in fact, developing the ability to be orderly and disciplined in my approach to taking care of myself has been one of the biggest changes I’ve experienced now in my year of practicing macrobiotics. I recall always being angry in the first few years. I had cut sugar out of my diet, but I was still eating plenty of meat.
In 1980 my father discovered macrobiotics in Philadelphia through the East West Foundation. Although my father began eating macrobiotically, I didn’t begin until I came to Boston in June, 1983, where I had my first macrobiotic consultation and was given a completely different way to eat right away. At this time I was taking 65 units of insulin a day. Marc Cauwenbergh, the consultant I saw, told me I could possibly be taking as little as 5 or 10 units of insulin by the end of the summer, and I was sure he was crazy! After about ten days of eating macrobiotically, I was able to decrease my insulin dosage, from 65 to 46 units. By June 20th it was down to 35 or 40 units, and sometime in July it went down to 30. Early in August, an experienced macrobiotic cook moved into the apartment where my father and I were staying and after a short period eating her cooking, my insulin suddenly took another leap downwards.
In addition to the decrease in my insulin intake, I soon noticed a number of other changes. My acne diminished to a few small, dull bumps on my cheeks, and my complexion was brighter; my shoulders were suddenly straighter; and my energy calm and consistent from 8 a.m. to midnight. As the weeks became months these changes accentuated, and more deep-seated transformations became apparent as well. Most importantly it became clear that the old, deeply ingrained assumption of mine was no longer true. This is the assumption that I would not live past the age of 35. With the constant feeling of my vitality ebbing away, every year and every month, this was a constant background to my awareness and approach to life. Now my daily insulin dosage is down to about 15 units, my vitality is ever-increasing, and I am enjoying every minute of it, since I know that all my dreams, all my potential will be realized. If I can change this much in a year, anyone else can change, too!